Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Best Quinoa & Bean Bake Ever

Adapted from The Vegetarian's Complete Quinoa Cookbook

Printable Recipe 

Prep time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 25-30 minutes Note:  I used my new convection toaster oven so the baking time was only 15 minutes!
Serves 4-6  (I'm going to try to freeze some, so I'll let you know how that goes)

3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed well and drained
1 1/4 cup vegetable broth, I used my own roasted vegetable broth, frozen in 2 cup portions for moments such as this.
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced (I used 2 giant cloves)
1 medium  onion, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp dried oregano (I used 2 heaping tbsp fresh oregano, chopped)
1/2 tsp red chili pepper flakes (or as much as you like)
1 sweet red pepper, seeds removed and coarsely chopped
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes  (they used 28oz/796ml but I used 14oz/398ml which was perfect for us) with juice
1 can (19oz/540ml) black beans (I was out, so I used pinto beans), rinsed and drained
1-2 cup Swiss chard leaves,  stems removed and leaves finely sliced (chiffonade) (optional, but great)
2-3 roasted beets, diced (optional, but delicious)
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped & divided in half
2 slices whole wheat or multi grain bread
1 cup feta goat cheese, finely crumbled

1. Prepare the quinoa:
Combine the quinoa with the broth and bay leaf in a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil.   Stir and reduce heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes, covered.  When the quinoa is ready, the grains will be soft and the liquid absorbed.  Remove from the heat, remove the bay leaf, fluff the quinoa and let stand, covered for 5-10 minutes

2. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C (for convection ovens - 350°F/175°C) and prepare baking dish (should hold 8 cups, I used a medium lasagna dish 11 1/2" x 7 1/2" x 1 1/2") I used a little olive oil to grease the dish.

3. While the quinoa is cooking and the oven is preheating, heat the olive oil a large skillet over medium-high  Once the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic, oregano and red chili pepper flakes.  Cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is translucent and the pan smells divine. (about 5 minutes)

4. Add the chopped red pepper for 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften.  If using Swiss chard, or spinach or kale... add it now along with roasted beets or other roasted vegetables if you have them.   Toss and continue to cook for another minute or two, to heat the new additions and combine all the flavors.

5. Add the canned tomatoes with the juice and the drained beans.  Stir well and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and  simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

6. Remove from heat and add the cooked quinoa with 1/4 cup of chopped parsley and toss to combine.  Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. 

7. Pulse bread (broken into a few chunks) in a food processor until soft small crumbs form.  

8. In a small bowl, combine the crumbled feta with 1/4 cup parsley and bread crumbs and toss well to combine.  Sprinkle over the quinoa mixture, covering the entire top.

9.  Bake in the center of the oven for 20-25 minutes (15-20 minutes in a convection oven)

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