Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Quinoa Lasagna

Quinoa is something new for our family. It was mentioned in one of the 'healthy' cookbooks I've been using and when we saw it at the store, we decided to give it a try. It doesn't have a lot of taste on its own, but because of that you can make it work with all kinds of things. Quinoa is a very nutritious food, being a complete protein and also a good source of fiber and iron.

I first found a recipe for quinoa lasagna in the cookbook Healthy Foods: an irreverent guide to understanding nutrition and feeding your family well by Leanne Ely, C.N.C. I adjusted it a little and here's what I came up with.

 (First you need to know that quinoa cooks up  like rice. One cup measured before you cook it is not the same as one cup measured afterwards. For this recipe, you'll want about 3 cups of quinoa measured after you've cooked it.)

Ingredients List:
15 oz. can of tomatoes, preferably with some kind of Italian seasoning
2 - 8oz. cans of tomato sauce
small jar of spaghetti or pizza sauce (optional, use if you need more sauce)
1tsp. sea salt
2tsp. oregano
1 med. onion, chopped (I use a sweet onion, like vidalia)
2 cloves of garlic, minced (more or less is up to you)
oil (I use canola)
1 lb. ground beef
3 cups of cooked quinoa (remember to measure after it's cooked)
8oz. ricotta cheese or cottage cheese (cottage is sometimes easier to spread)
8-16oz. shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Coat a skillet with oil and cook the onions and garlic until soft. Add meat and cook until browned. Drain grease. Add tomatoes, sauce, salt, and oregano. Simmer.

Spray a 9x13 dish to make clean up easier. Smear a little of the sauce mixture on the bottom of the dish. Put down a layer of quinoa, followed by 1/3 of each of the cheeses. Sauce, quinoa, cheeses. Sauce quinoa cheeses. Finish with sauce. If needed, add spaghetti sauce on top. Dust the top with Parmesan and any leftover Mozzarella. Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes.

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