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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