Thursday, February 5, 2009

Baked Quinoa with Spinach and Cheese

This is an adaptation of recipe from one of my latest favorite blog finds, Culinary in the Desert.
I changed some things up based on what I had in the house and also just some taste preferences.
I was really happy with how it turned out -- light but satisfying. Makes a good side dish or even a light main dish.

3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
6 ounces baby spinach (I used fresh that had been frozen)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (somewhat optional, I think)
2 garlic cloves, minced
garlic salt and fresh ground black pepper

4 cups cooked quinoa (I used Inca Red variety)
2 large eggs (egg whites work just as well I think)
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (for my lactose free version I used American-style SmartBeat and it was still good)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat with 1 tablespoon oil. Add onion and mushrooms - cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add spinach, season with salt and fresh ground black pepper - toss together, then remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, beat together eggs and season with garlic salt. Stir in cooked quinoa, spinach mixture, and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Season with fresh ground black pepper and scoop mixture into a 2 quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Scatter remaining cheese over the top and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil if desired. Place dish into the and bake until golden on top, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.Makes about 4 to 6 servings.

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