Quinoa and Egg Breakfast Casserole

9 Aug

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What started out as a simple request for breakfast pastries and a late-night treat turned in to a whirlwind weekend of family-style brunches, and plentiful finger foods and snacks (and breakfast pastries and many late-night treats). In the end, the weekend was filled with as many laughs as calories. {Do not be dissuaded – this recipe is healthy!}

To celebrate the upcoming nuptuals of the sparkly and delightful MMH, we, her nearest and dearest, rented a house in a quaint vacation town, and did it up right. If I could start every day of my life seated at a long farm-style table surrounded by a dozen laughing friends, with warm, sweet and savory filling brunches and coffee flowing like it would not quit – I guarantee I would do it. Two such days last weekend will have to suffice for now, I suppose! Most other details from the weekend will stay in the vault.

The Quinoa Casserole was a dark horse. Originally planned as an experimental dish for our gluten-free crew, I figured one 8 x 8 pan would last them for two mornings, supplemented with roasted potatoes and fruit. Negative. The whole group could not get enough of it, and we had one pan each morning – in addition to a plethora of other dishes {stay tuned for more recipes!} – and everyone dug in. If you have eggs, milk, quinoa, and some sort of green vegetable, you will be loving this in an hour. It is a great way to start – or end – the day. I just made one for dinner!

Quinoa Casserole 4

Ingredients:
– 1/2 c uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
– 8 eggs {it would work to use just 7 eggs, or 6 eggs and 4 egg whites, but I do not recommend a higher ratio of egg whites than that}
– 1 1/4 c skim milk
– 1 T minced garlic
– 1 t chopped thyme, or 1/2 t dried thyme {I have also added 1 T pesto – experiment with different herbs and flavors!}
– 1/2 teaspoon pepper
– 2 c packed baby spinach, roughly chopped {I have also added 1/2 c chopped raw broccoli, and had there not been a slight preference by the crowd against mushrooms and onions … sauteed mushrooms and onions probably would have made their way in}
– shredded, grated, or shaved Parmesan-Reggiano cheese {definitely experiment with other cheeses!}

How do I make it?

  • Preheat oven to 350. Although, there were no numbers on the stove (next time I will also tie one hand behind my back), so I think anything from 350-400 would be fine.
  • Spray an 8″ x 8″ baking dish with olive oil spray.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients except for the vegetables and cheese.
  • Stir in the vegetables (don’t use the whisk – they will get stuck!), and pour mixture into prepared pan.
  • Cover the pan tightly with foil, then rock the pan a bit so the quinoa settles toward the bottom.
  • Bake just until the eggs set – it will look a little puffy, and no liquid should remain on top of the middle of the pan. This should take about 45 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and sprinkle the top evenly with cheese to your taste. Return the pan to the oven and bake, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes more, until the cheese is brown and crisp.
  • As soon as it cools a bit, slice and serve!

Quinoa Casserole 3Original link: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/quinoa-egg-bake-thyme-and-garlic

Aaaaannnd, your moment of zen:

Quinoa Casserole 2

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One Response to “Quinoa and Egg Breakfast Casserole”

  1. afracooking November 20, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    I love quinoa – this dish has gone straight onto my “to cook” list

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