Quinoa Pizza Casserole
Today was just one of those days that felt…lonnnnnnng. No real reason. Lila was a little fussy, but certainly not in a terrible mood. She took a few naps. I went to a yoga class. We did some work. I don’t know WHY it felt so long, but by the time we put her to bed tonight at seven o’clock, we both collapsed on the couch, exhausted.
Looks like it will be an early bedtime for us tonight, which is fine by me—I’m going to try to start going to bed by 9:30 or 10:00 most nights anyway, since I have such an early teaching schedule this semester (and I’ll be waking up early with Lila on the other days when I’m not teaching).
This morning, while Lila napped, I did some cooking: Pizza Quinoa Casserole.
In true “nerdy mom” fashion, I cooked up a big pot of grains today for us to use throughout the week—this week, the grain of choice was quinoa. I cooked up two cups of dried quinoa—some for this casserole, and some just to have on hand for lunches or another dinner.
While the quinoa was cooking, I warmed up a little olive oil in another pan and added:
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup black olives
1 tbsp. dried basil
I cooked the veggies until they were nice and soft. Then, I scooped out about 1/4 cup and transferred it to the food processor for Lila’s portion. Once that was out, I seasoned the rest of the veggies with garlic salt.
At this point, the quinoa was done, so I set it aside to cool a little.
To the food processor, I also added: 1/4 cup low-sodium marinara sauce, 1 tbsp. shredded cheddar cheese, and 1/4 cup cooked quinoa. I processed until still slightly chunky.
Baby food time:
For the grown-up casserole version, I layered…
Veggies and a little cheese…
plus more quinoa, sauce, and cheese on top. I wasn’t measuring the quinoa, but I’d guess I used about two cups for the whole casserole, and maybe 3/4 cup cheese?
Then I covered it with foil and put it in the fridge—ready to be baked!
Tonight, when we were ready for dinner, I baked it at 350 for about 30 minutes with the foil on, then another 5 minutes without the foil.
(I was so hungry I ate my salad first, which is why there are smears of ranch dressing underneath my casserole. Apologies. )
Delicious! We did a number on it:
…but still have enough for dinner tomorrow night!
And how did Lila like hers?
She loved it! I’d definitely give this one an A…she couldn’t get enough!
School tomorrow…see you bright and early!