Pizza Quinoa Casserole

It’s Secret Recipe Club time, woohoo! This month I had Nora’s Natural Noshing. In light of the insanity of my last post featuring a roundup of peanut butter and chocolate deliciousness, you would think I would have to share another peanut butter and chocolate recipe today. I did consider making her bite-size peanut butter layer cups, and would’ve even been a healthier option compared to the majority or recipes I shared on Saturday. But I figured I have an entire football season ahead of me to fill with peanut butter and chocolate, so let’s try something else today.

Quinoa is not yet a staple in my diet, but I do use it occasionally. Most recently have enjoyed mixing in candied walnuts and blueberries for breakfast. So when I saw this recipe on Natural Noshing, I had to give it a try.

Although I didn’t think this casserole quite tasted like pizza, it was a great tasting side to accompany the chicken asiago sausage I had as the main dish. If I had added pepperoni, Italian sausage, and green peppers, it probably would have tasted more like pizza and even been able to be a main course by itself. Or maybe add chicken and have it be a chicken Parmesan casserole – there are many options and is definitely something I would make again!


PIZZA QUINOA CASSEROLE

Serves 4 as a side

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked quinoa cooked in 2 cups water or about 3-1/2 cups cooked quinoa

6 oz. tomato paste

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 small onion, diced

2 Tbsp water

1-1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 Roma tomatoes, diced

2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped

1 Tbsp dried parsley

1 tsp marjoram

1 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp fennel seed (used caraway seed because I did not have fennel)

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

1/4 tsp sugar

3/4 salt

1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella

Directions:

  1. Rinse quinoa well and combine with water in a small pot over high heat.  Bring to a boil, cover and turn down to low and simmer for 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed, the quinoa is tender and completely cooked.  Remove from the heat and leave covered in the pot for 5 minutes while assembling other ingredients.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease four 1 cup ramekins, two 2 cup dishes or a larger casserole dish, depending on how you want to bake and serve this.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the tomato paste with the garlic and onion, water and olive oil.  Mix well.  Add tomatoes and all the seasonings.  Mix well again before adding the quinoa.  Once the mixture is completely mixed, taste for seasonings and add more salt as needed.  Then divide evenly among the dishes for baking, sprinkle with cheese and place in the oven.
  4. Bake 30-35 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly or until the quinoa on top is golden and crispy.  If desired, sprinkle with more fresh basil or parsley and serve.

Source: Natural Noshing




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