Sunday, January 12, 2014

Caprese Inspired Quinoa Bake

I think it's safe to say that I despise New Year's Resolutions.  Not because the idea of them are bad, but why do we reserve making positive or healthy changes for the start of a new year? I get it...the new calendar does bring a freshness that makes change in that moment seem a little more attainable. But how often do we start a new trend, tradition, or habit just to break it by January 2nd? I know I am guilty of this.  That is why I am skipping the resolutions this year.
I DID however, start some new goals last year, around Thanksgiving. One of these goals was to eat less convenience, processed, and fast foods.  I am a sucker for convenience.  This has been my downfall as of late.  Not only have I realized how much money I waste buying things pre-made and perfectly packaged into individual servings, the food really wasn't as satisfying had I just made it myself.  Feeling motivated I promptly went to the grocery store.  I purchased the staples, but a few new things found their way into my cart.  One of these ingredients being Quinoa.  I had a ton of recipes swirling in my head.  Quinoa is hearty and filling, like any grain or pasta would be.  But it is so much better for you.  Mix it into soups, toss with roasted veggies, or make it sweet with some berries and honey.

This dish was so satisfying. Enjoy it alone for a light lunch, or have it accompany some grilled chicken breast for a nice dinner. Whatever you decide, just make sure you make enough for seconds. So...stinkin...good.

Caprese Inspired Quinoa Bake
(Serves 4-6)

1 cup Quinoa
2 cups Water
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
Large handful of Basil
4 oz. Mozarella cheese, diced into small pieces
1/4 Cup Parmesean cheese, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
Aged Balsamic Vinegar, for drizzle
Olive Oil

In a saucepan, combine Quinoa and water. Bring quinoa to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Place a lid over the pot and cook for 15 minutes, until water is absorbed and the Quinoa has spiraled out.  Set aside.

Halve all of the cherry tomatoes and place on a baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic.  Roast in the oven, 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, just until the tomatoes soften slightly and some juice is released.

In a large bowl combine the cooked Quinoa, tomatoes and garlic.  Tear the basil leaves into the mixture, add more salt and pepper to taste, and another little drizzle of olive oil.  Transfer the mixture to a casserole dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Bake in the oven, 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbling.  Remove from heat and drizzle with balsamic.  Serve immediately and enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. I agree about the resolutions. Why do we need to wait for the start of each year to start improving our lives? This dish looks delish! Can't wait to try it.