Sunday, January 24, 2010

Quinoa Bake

Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) is not technically a grain but you can substitute it for nearly any grain in cooking. It’s actually a seed and its relatives include spinach, beets and Swiss chard. It’s rich in protein, iron, potassium and other vitamins and minerals and is a good source of fiber.

Remove the sausage from this recipe and it's still a protein-rich meal.

2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 eggplant
3-4 links sausage (I use pre-cooked chicken sausage, but use what you want)
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
3 cups cooked quinoa
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (please don’t use the green can)
1 cup shredded mozzarella
salt and pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
olive oil for roasting and sautéing

Here's what you do:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and cut eggplant into cubes, sprinkle with salt and olive oil and roast for 20 minutes.

In large sauté pan on medium-high heat, sauté onion and garlic for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté for 7-8 minutes. Add sausage and heat through (If you’re using uncooked sausage, cook meat until it’s 75% cooked). Add tomatoes, oregano, spinach and roasted eggplant.

Add Parmesan to quinoa and mix together in sauté pan with sausage mixture. Incorporate half the mozzarella into the mixture. Season to taste.

Pour the mixture into a large greased (I use olive oil spray) casserole dish and top with remaining mozzarella. Bake for 25 minutes.

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