Thursday, 9 October 2014

Baked Quinoa Caprese

Firstly, a warm hug and hello to all my readers. I have had a fantastic "hogging" holiday and now I am all charged up to wash my sins! True! You should have seen me eating in the past two weeks. Anything and everything edible and yummy was on my plate at all times. I did not care to think twice before gulping down two huge Rosogullas in every meal for the simple reason that I am not getting to eat these for the next one year. Weight can be taken care of once I reach home and so I just enjoyed my trip thoroughly without wasting time on judging the calories!! 
Now back in Singapore and all I can think of is diet. In fact, I do not have a single craving for any of those delicacies that I have had in the recent times. May be that was all that I could handle. It is now time to get back to routine and get back to my fitness and weight loss regime. I have set a goal for myself and once my jet lag is gone, I will be starting to work towards it. 
Here is a simple meal to start with which is extremely easy to assemble and good to eat, not to forget the healthy quotient which makes it even more desirable. Caprese is basically an Italian salad and served as an antipasti or a starter. I found this recipe on the internet and then twisted it as per my liking and availability of ingredients. Fresh Basil is a prime ingredient for Caprese but I was out of stock. So I added a few other ingredients to make up for the flavor and the result was awesome. If you love Quinoa, you must try this recipe!!

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 big onion finely chopped
1 tbsp garlic chopped
1/2 cup mushroom sliced
3 tomatoes, 2 thinly sliced and 1 cut into quarters
1/4 cup corn kernels
1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
1 tsp dried basil (fresh basil recommended)
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3-4 slices of mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp olive oil

Wash and rinse the quinoa and add 3/4 cup water and let it come to a boil. Now cover and simmer till all the water has been absorbed. Fork the quinoa to avoid stickiness. Keep aside. 
Place the quartered tomatoes on an aluminium foil and sprinkle salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and bake in a pre-heated oven at 225 degree celsius for 10 minutes or till the skin gets crumpled. 
Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil and fry the onions till translucent and add the garlic. Fry till fragrant. Add the mushrooms and the corn and fry till cooked. If using fresh Basil, add it now. Add salt and pepper and the rest of the seasoning and stir. Remove from heat and keep aside. 
Time to assemble. Take an ovensafe dish and mix the quinoa, roasted tomatoes, onion muxture and shredded cheddar. Check for seasoning and add if required. Now arrange tomato rings and slices of mozzarella alternately and cover the top. Cover the top loosely with an aluminium foil and bake in the pre-heated oven at 180 degree celsius for 20 minutes and then for 5-10 minutes without the cover till the cheese is bubbling and slightly browned. Serve hot!

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