Monday, November 11, 2013

Spinach and Tomato Quinoa Bake

They say you learn something new everyday. A while back I my mom and I were talking. She said she had visited the blog and said she had searched every cooking store and couldn't find a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish. Well, I just remembered this after, say, a couple of months. I have two of these said baking dishes and decided to measure the clean one the quinoa bake was not in. Low and behold these are not 9-inch by 13-inch baking dishes! I've been wrong in all my recipes! Grr! They are in fact 8-inch by 12-inch baking dishes. So, if I've ever confused you, made you shop for a new baking dish, or if you're like me said, "Screw it! I'm using the 8-inch by 12-inch dish anyway," I apologize for my error. I hope you forgive me:) Pretty please?

This evening's meatless Monday meal is one I've been working on for a while now. The first time I made it, I used a whole jar of spaghetti sauce, totally drowning the quinoa. To make this recipe more points friendly, I only used one cup of sauce and added a can of no-salt added diced tomatoes. The results are spectacular and only 8 points per serving. As usual, you can make this dish ahead, store it, and pop it in the oven when you are ready to bake it and serve.

Spinach and Tomato Quinoa Bake
Makes 6 1 1/2 cup servings
8 points per 1 1/2 cup

1 cup dried quinoa
2 cups water
1 14.5 oz. can no salt added diced tomatoes
1 cup spaghetti sauce
16 oz. fat free sour cream
8 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1 box chopped frozen spinach, drained
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
2 cups shredded 2% mozzarella cheese

Spray an 8-inch by 12-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Bring the water and diced tomatoes to a boil in a medium sized sauce pan. Add the quinoa, stir, and lower the heat to low. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Cover with a lid and remove from heat. Let the quinoa set for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. While the quinoa is resting, mix the sour cream, cream cheese, spinach, garlic powder, and onion powder together in a large bowl until smooth. Set aside. Spread the quinoa into the bottom of the baking dish. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the quinoa. Sprinkle the top with the cheese. If you are making this dish ahead, cover and store in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to bake and serve. If you freeze this dish, you will need to thaw before baking. When you are ready to bake, place the dish, uncovered, in the oven and set the heat to 375 degrees. Bake in the oven, uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until the cheese begins to bubble and brown around the edges. Remove from the oven. Let set for 5 minutes before serving.

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