Creamy Quinoa Casserole THM-E (or XO), Gluten free
If you follow the Trim Healthy Mama Facebook pages, or listen to the Poddy (THM's weekly podcast) then you probably know all about how popular quinoa is right now. I decided to jump on the quinoa train, too! If you're not familiar with it, you can do a quick internet search for the benefits of quinoa. It's a good plant source of protein, has all sorts of amino acids, is high in fiber, can help reduce blood pressure and high cholesterol, and is a good source of many different vitamins.
This casserole is pure comfort food! It's so creamy, and it's an E! It's easy to make a crossover by adding extra cheese.
For this recipe you will need:
2 cups cooked quinoa
1.5 cups diced, cooked chicken (I was completely out, so ended up using canned chicken)
3 Tbsp. chopped onions
1/2 bell pepper, any color, chopped
1/4 tsp. refrigerated minced garlic (optional)
1 small can mushrooms, drained
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
Part skim mozzarella cheese
Creamy Cheese Mixture:
1 cup low fat cottage cheese
1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, green can kind
1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp. garlic powder (use less if you don't like a lot of garlic flavor)
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Saute garlic, onions, and peppers in a skillet sprayed with cooking spray, until tender. Add mushrooms to this mixture and set aside.
Mix all ingredients in the creamy cheese mixture together and add that mixture along with the tomato sauce to the cooked quinoa. Add in the chicken and onion/ pepper/ mushroom mixture. Mix carefully until everything is combined. Pour into casserole dish. Top with a small amount of mozzarella. Be careful not to add too much to keep it in E territory. I topped with about a heaping 1/3 cup, which split between several servings still keeps this in E mode.
Top with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 more minutes.
Serve with veggies and/or fruit and you've got a delicious E meal!