Cheesy Bean and Quinoa Bake

25 May

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I just love quinoa, I mean what an amazing food it is. Packed with protein and fiber not to mention its delicious nutty taste. When I make quinoa, I make a load and keep it in a sealed lunchbox to provide me with wholesome and tasty lunches for the week. This recipe is packed full of protein, between the beans and the quinoa I don’t really think vegetarian meals could get much better.
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There are quite a few steps but they are all very basic, no fancy cooking going on here! The different textures of each different layer compliment each other perfectly and works well hot or cold, so this would be a handy dish to bring to a picnic. Personally I think this looks like a pizza from the top which I think will really appeal to children and adults alike. This can be very easily doubled or tripled if you are feeding a large crowd and can be pre-made and then just baked in the oven when needed if you are entertaining.

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The only thing I would recommend is serving this in little individual dishes if serving to guest as it would look neater and easier to serve. This dish is just brimming with flavor from the sweet peppers  to the spicy beans and the slightly sweet and spicy combo of the quinoa, it is a great match and if your struggling for interesting vegetarian meals full of flavor this is for you!

Cheesy Bean and Quinoa Bake (Serves 2 generously)

1tbsp rapeseed oil

1/2 red chilli, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 onion, diced

1 x 400g tin mixed beans, or any other sort of beans would work well too

1/4 cup chopped tomatoes

150g cooked quinoa

a pinch of cayenne pepper

1/4-1/2tsp cumin

1/4tsp chilli powder

1tbsp honey

1/2 red pepper, cut into thin strips

1/2 yellow pepper, cut into thin strips

1/2 cup grated mozzarella

sliced spring onions, to garnish

  • For the bean base, heat the oil in a small frying pan over a medium heat and add in the chilli, onion and garlic and cook for 2-3mins until softened. Add in the beans and chopped tomatoes and cook for a further 2mins, stir regularly. Season with salt and pepper then mash the beans with a fork roughly leaving some whole. Spread across the bottom of a small casserole dish.
  • For the quinoa, heat a small dry frying pan over medium heat and add the quinoa, cayenne, cumin and chilli powder and cook for about 2mins until the quinoa is lightly toasted. Drizzle with the honey then layer this into the casserole dish.
  • For the peppers, heat a small dry frying pan over medium heat and add the pepper strips. Don’t stir at all, leave to blister and char for about 3mins then stir and leave to char for a further 1-2mins. Add to the casserole dish.
  • Sprinkle with grated mozzarella, cover with tin foil and bake in the oven for 15mins then remove the tin foil and bake for a further 5-10mins until the cheese is melted and golden.
  • Sprinkle with spring onions and let cool for about 10mins before serving if you want it to be more set but if you don’t mind just serve it straight away.

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