Thursday, 17 July 2014

Spinach and Quinoa Bake

So here I am with yet another Quinoa recipe as promised. The grain is truly a wonder and can fill your tummy with just a few spoonfuls! So be aware while choosing your portions. My today's portion went a little overboard and now I have a full big dish to finish by tomorrow. It was incredibly yummy and the best part is again the nutrition value it carries along with the other veggies in the dish. Here I have used Spinach, mushroom, and corn, but you can use any combination you want. 

3/4 cup quinoa
1 medium onion chopped
1 cup spinach chopped (I used frozen)
2 tbsp corn kernels
1/4 cup button mushroom sliced
1 tbsp garlic chopped
1 tsp mixed dried herbs (I used thyme and rosemary)
3 eggs
1/2 cup cottage cheese/paneer grated (I prepared it at home with 0.1% fat skimmed milk)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp red chilli flakes (I skipped as I was using storebought spicy breadcrumbs)
Cheese as you like it (I skipped)
3-4 tbsp breadcrumbs
1 tsp olive oil for greasing and 1 tbsp for sautéing

Boil 350 ml water and add the quinoa. Keep stirring frequently until all the water is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked through (transparent with a small white tag). Remove from heat and let it cool. 
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and fry the onions till translucent. Now add the chopped garlic and fry till slightly browned. Next tip in the mushrooms and fry till they change color. Add in all other veggies now and season with the dry herbs, salt and pepper. You can directly add the chopped spinach here or blanch it first and then add. Once the veggies are tender enough, remove from heat and let it cool.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and then add the grated cottage cheese or paneer. Mix well till it is smooth. Now add the cooled veggie mixture and the cooled Quinoa. Add the quinoa little at a time. The quinoa expands after being cooked. So add as per your judgement. The mixture should not be too thick nor thin. It should be moist enough without any excess liquid. Season with a little more salt if required. Taste the veggie mix before adding into the eggs and you will know just how much to add. You can also add some cheese of your choice to the mixture to make it more rich. 
Pre-heat the oven at 175 degree celsius. Grease a oven safe baking dish, big enough to hold the mixture, with 1 tsp oil. Now spread the breadcrumbs evenly on the bottom of the greased baking dish. Next add the mixture and spread it out evenly. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 40 minutes until set and the edges brown and start coming off the sides. 
Remove from oven and serve hot or warm.

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