May 29, 2013

Bake this for dinner!

I keep reading that it is a good idea to try to eat vegetarian at least a couple of times a week.  The problem for me has always been that my kids seem to really like meat!

I stumbled on this recipe in a little flyer I picked up at Whole Foods Market a few years ago, and decided to try it.  First, it sounded like something we would all like.  Second, it was easy peasy!

I'm sharing it with you here, with a few of my own variations.  In the event that you are like me, trying to feed your family unprocessed food as much as you can, this is a great and easy place to start! 

Mexican Quinoa Bake
serves 4

1 cup white or red quinoa (pronounced keen-wah); find it with the other grains and read about its benefits here
2 cups water, plus 3 T.
1 small white onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white mushrooms, finely chopped
1 small red pepper, chopped
I handful cilantro, chopped (leave it out if you are a cilantro-hater!)
1/2 to 1 cup of green kale or spinach, roughly chopped
1 can refried beans (try the vegetarian variety to make it even more healthy)
cumin, chili powder and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add quinoa and water to a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, covered, for 12-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, add 3 tablespoons of water to a saute pan, and saute onion, garlic, mushrooms, red pepper and cilantro until soft.  Use more water as needed.  Add in the kale or spinach and cook until greens turn bright green.
Drain excess water and transfer to a large mixing bowl.  Add cooked quinoa and refried beans; mix well.  Season to taste with cumin, chili powder and black pepper.
You notice I didn't even bother to use a mixing bowl; I just mixed it all in the saute pan!
Coat a loaf pan with cooking spray, or line it with parchment paper.  Scoop mixture into the dish and spread evenly.  Bake 20-25 minutes, or until top is slightly crispy.

Here is what I have discovered:  don't worry if you don't have all the veggies this calls for.  I have made it without mushrooms.  I have added zucchini or more kinds of peppers.  It really is a very forgiving dish, in which you can use whatever you have on hand vegetable-wise, and it will most likely turn out just delish!


  1. Making this this week, looks so good! Thanks, Kit! Did you also add zucchini? I see it in the pics, but not the ingredient list.

    1. Jenny, I DID use zucchini that time. It is not in the ingredient list, but I mentioned in the notes below that you can substitute all kinds of things for the veggies...pretty much whatever sounds good to you! Hope you guys like it!

  2. Thanks Kit! We love quinoa, and it's good to know how to do something different with it. Looks awesome.