Monday, February 16, 2015

Spinach and Artichoke Quinoa Bake

Hi Everyone! Abbie has asked me to guest post highlighting some of my favorite, figure friendly, and family friendly recipes from time to time. I have a passion for cooking and love to be creative in the kitchen. Now, having an 11 month old son my challenge has grown to come up with delicious recipes that even he will eat. Luckily, I don't have a picky eater on my hands, but even the pickiest will love this one. Simple, easy, healthy, and all in one pan. What doesn't sound great about that?

I originally stumbled across this recipe on Two Peas and their Pod and have been making it with multiple variations ever since. You can add almost anything you want, especially if you need to hide some additional veggies, I have found roasted butternut squash to work really well. You can also sub baby kale if spinach isn't your thing. I personally make this with almond milk and had no issues so feel free to use whatever milk your family is into. This will easily feed a family of four (trust me you will want seconds) and leave you with some delicious leftovers!

Looks like a snow day tomorrow so head out and get everything you need, this is perfect for warming you up on a snow day in! Hope you all enjoy this as much as I do.


Spinach and Artichoke Quinoa Bake
Yield: Serves 8-10
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 75 minutes

Total Time: 85 minutes


1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed
3 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
9 oz fresh spinach leaves
2 cups chopped artichoke hearts (We use canned and drained artichoke hearts)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose Gold Medal Flour
1 1/2 cups milk
3 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
Dash of red pepper flakes
1/2 cup feta cheese
Salt and black pepper, to taste
For the Parmesan Panko Topping:
4 tablespoons melted butter
3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

2. Add quinoa and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Set aside.
3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add spinach and cook until it shrinks down, about 3 minutes. Stir in the artichoke hearts. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Turn off the heat and set aside.
4. In a medium saucepan add 3 tablespoons of butter and flour and heat over medium heat. Whisk continuously until a paste forms. Whisk in milk. Increase heat to medium/high and bring to a boil whisking the whole time. Stir in cream cheese and 1/2 cup of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Whisk until smooth.
5. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, spinach and artichoke mixture, and cheese sauce. Stir well. Stir in the remaining 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Top with feta cheese.
6. To make the topping, combine melted butter, Panko bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the quinoa bake. Cover the pan with aluminum foil.
7. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil from pan. Cook for another 15-20 minutes, or until the quinoa bake top is golden brown and slightly bubbling.
Serve warm.

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