cheesy kale and quinoa bake

This one is an experiment.  I looked at a few similar recipes to figure out the process, and then I just went with it.  I used a bagged cheddar – which was alright – but I also had some manchego lying around.  This is what I put on top.  At the very end of prepping this dinner, I broiled the casserole to get it extra bubbly!  I wish I could add a .gif of that.

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There are a lot of little steps in this one, so i recommend prepping all of your veggies beforehand.

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Boyfriend doesn’t love kale, especially cooked kale, so this wasn’t his favorite recipe ever.  We both agreed that we want to try a creamier version of this as well – sort of like a quinoa macaroni and cheese.

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I think we also need to experiment with the amount of water in this dish.  I used 2 cups total but it may have been a touch too much.

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Anyway, good luck.  I hope you like this experiment.  I think this dish offers a lot of flexibility when it comes to the veggies and seasonings used.

Ingredients:

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups kale, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 handful cilantro, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, maybe manchego.  Something melty.
  • 2 cups water
  • salt
  • olive oil/butter
  • pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • On low heat, melt some butter and some olive oil in a large pot.  Saute garlic and jalapenos for about one minute.  Then add the chopped onions and season with salt.
  • Cook the onions on medium heat until just starting to soften – nearly 10 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and 1 cup of water.  Boil this mixture until the tomatoes begin to fall apart – about 5 minutes.  Add the kale at this point.
  • Continue to cook on medium heat until kale begins to wilt.  Add the cilantro and some more salt.
  • Add all of the quinoa and the second cup of water.  Pour mixture into a small casserole dish.
  • Mix the cheese into this mixture, but leave some for later.  It will be watery!  Put the casserole into the oven.
  • Bake for 30 minutes and taste.  If the quinoa isn’t cooked or the mixture is still watery, continue to cook.  Check it periodically, though.  Mine took more than 35 minutes.
  • Once the quinoa is nearly cooked, top with more cheese.  Bake for another few minutes until cheese is bubbly.  I threw mine under the broiler.
  • I served this with a little bit of salsa.  Hot sauce could be good too!

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adventures in paella

How’s it going?  It’s been a while.  Apologies.

I finally got my hands on a decent camera.  I took a bunch of photos of food, and then realized I didn’t have the proper cord for moving the photos from the camera to my laptop.  Don’t worry though!  We found the right cord in my dad’s “cord drawer” in his office.  If my paella instructions are a little fuzzy, it’s because I cooked it over a week ago.  Good luck!

I’ve been meaning to make paella for a while now.  Boyfriend is allergic to crustaceans (sad) so unfortunately this version only had chicken and chorizo, but it was still really satisfying.  I chose to use arborio rice, but honestly it made the whole thing a little too gloopy.  I would recommend trying a different rice.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 2 chorizo sausages (the ones I used were fully cooked)
  • a few chicken thighs
  • 1 can of chicken stock
  • 1 red bell pepper, juliened? long stringies please!
  • 1 carrot, cubed
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • frozen peas and corn
  • paprika to taste
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oilpaella4

Instructions

  1. Brown your onions in a big pan – not too brown!  Then brown the chopped up chicken and chorizo.  Really toast that chorizo – the brown bits were the best part!
  2. Throw the garlic and the bell peppers in there.  Don’t brown them, but let them cook a bit.  Add the carrots too.paella2
  3. Throw some paprika in there – get it a little toasty.  Then toss the rice in, let it soak up all of the flavors of the spices and the chorizo.paella3
  4. After the rice has mixed in for a minute, pour in the chicken broth.  the rice should be swimming in it a little bit.  Cover the pan and let cook until the rice is done (about 20 min) and most of the liquid has either boiled off or been absorbed.  Throw in the peas and corn and let them defrost.  Serve with some wine.  Eat up!paella6