Quinoa. Another one of those foods that became “trendy” in the last 5 or so years and that I didn’t know existed until then. I don’t cook with it too often, though I hope to start using it more (especially since going gluten-free). One of my favorite ways to enjoy it is in salads, or as the centerpiece of salads. But one way I have found that I don’t enjoy quinoa, strangely enough, is quinoa pasta. Something about the nutty flavor just takes over for me. So when I saw a recipe for a baked ziti using quinoa noodles, I got to wondering: Could I make a ziti using quinoa in place of pasta noodles? Well, I tried it, and lo and behold, it worked. It was rather delicious, in fact, and I definitely have a lot of ideas in my head for how I’d like to make some future quinoa casseroles (hmm, mac and cheese perhaps?!).
|Prep time||35 minutes|
|Cook time||35 minutes|
|Total time||1 hours, 10 minutes|
|Allergy||Egg, Fish, Peanuts, Shellfish, Soy, Tree Nuts, Wheat|
|Dietary||Gluten Free, Vegetarian|
|Meal type||Main Dish|
- 4 cups marinara sauce*
- 4 cups vegetable broth**
- 2 cups quinoa (rinsed, if instructions on package call for it)
- 5-6 cloves garlic
- 1 red onion
- 4 cups spinach
- 1 cup grape tomatoes (cut in halves)
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese (shredded)
- olive oil
- sea salt
*For the marinara sauce, any will work. I made this one, only I kept it chunky style, by cutting up the tomatoes, rather than using the food processor. I also used one can stewed and one can chopped with green onions and peppers, as it’s what I had on hand.
**A few weeks before making this recipe, I’d discovered a vegetarian bouillon base. In this dish, I think it was central to the taste. However, I’ve found it takes some experimenting to figure out how much to use. When I made this dish, I think it overpowered a bit, whereas I’d rather taste the marina sauce a bit more. Next time, I’d use a little less. I’d recommend about 1-1.5 tablespoons for the four cups water.