Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Quinoa Casserole - Flavored like stuffing!

I found a recipe for Mexican Quinoa Casserole.  I made it, not following the original recipe completely, of course.  I made it again.  Then I made it with an Italian bent.  It continued to play to different flavor profiles in my head until I finally got it to where you see it here.  It can be made vegan if you use vegetable broth...or you can add some shredded cooked chicken and call it a complete meal.  If you really like chicken and want to make a big dinner of it, roast some and make gravy; use this casserole as a 'side' along with a veggie offering.  

I'm keeping the can of beans the original recipe calls for (I will post that one eventually) but I'm sure it won't matter if you leave the beans out.  I like beans so I'll always add them.   I'm happy without the corn here though.  It works in the original.  I think it dries out a bit too much here.  The beans do a little, too, but not enough to bother me.  Do with it as you like.


1 yellow onion, diced (~1/2 cup)
2-3 carrots, grated (~3/4 cup)
2 ribs celery, minced (~3/4 cup)
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed well, drained (I use white here)
1 can (14 1/2 ounce) low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp (or more, to taste) dried thyme
1/4 tsp (or more) ground sage
a good pinch of ground rosemary
1/8-1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/8-1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
OPT:  1 cup frozen corn
OPT:  1 can (15 oz) light beans, cannellini or pinto

I mix all the ingredients directly in my Pyrex 7x11 casserole dish.  Use any dish you have that will hold 2 quarts.  Level the top.  Cover/tent with foil.  Bake for 35 minutes before removing foil; stir.  Make sure you get the top bits of uncooked quinoa toward the bottom of the pan after stirring.  Level the top again and bake for about 20 minutes more, checking at the 10 minute mark to stir one more time.....  DONE is when all the quinoa "pops" and is no longer white.  If you see any that don't have the little spirals popping out to indicate doneness, just stir them down and let the casserole rest for 10 minutes.  That's all it takes to encourage them to finish cooking.

I'll get back to the Mexican version now.....

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