Quinoa Casserole with Peppers and Spinach

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A friend of mine made this amazing quinoa casserole for us to enjoy for lunch recently. She swore up and down that it was easy, and shared the recipe. Seeing it was from the Eat, Live, Run blog, which I am a fan of, I knew it’d be great. I made a few tweaks with the ingredients as well as the steps I took to make it, so this is my modified version.

Ingredients:

1.5 cups uncooked quinoa

1 tsp vegetable base/bouillon

3 cups water

1/2 tsp ground pepper

1/2 tsp dry ground mustard

1 tsp chopped garlic

olive oil

1 red and 1 orange bell pepper, diced

2 leeks, thinly sliced

3/4 bag of fresh baby spinach, chopped

1 cup non dairy milk

2 cups shredded soy cheese

1 egg

1 cup panko bread crumbs

I’ve been making meals in stages lately, as I find little pockets of time, and while this recipe really is easy to make, it took me three different stages to put it together. It was still easy. I prepared the quinoa in the rice cooker and sautéed the veggies late at night the evening before. The next morning, I assembled the quinoa, veggies, and cheese/egg/panko mixture in the casserole dish while Zack was napping and popped it in the fridge. Then an hour before I wanted to eat, I preheated the oven, cooked, and let it cool.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375.

In a rice cooker, put quinoa, water, vegetable base, garlic, pepper and mustard. Set it and forget it. When the quinoa is cooked, set it aside and let it cool slightly, or refrigerate it until the next day like I did.

Meanwhile, sautee the leeks and peppers in olive oil until soft. Chop spinach. Combine fresh spinach with cooked veggies in a large bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine quinoa with veggie mixture. Whisk one egg and pour that in. Mix in one cup of shredded cheese and the milk. Spread into a 9×13 greased casserole dish.

Combine remaining cheese and bread crumbs. Sprinkle them over the casserole. Bake for 30 minutes, let cool for 10.

This casserole had SO much flavor, I think it’s the best one I’ve ever made. Next time I’d try to cut back on the cheese even more, but otherwise, I loved every bite.

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