This honestly started out as a leftovers dish. We had leftover red meat sauce in the fridge, but I didn’t want to eat it with pasta because of all of the carbs. I personally think that protein-filled, gluten free quinoa is a great exchange for pasta, and when I added a few handfuls of spinach, this felt like a really healthy meal! Almost embarrassingly easy, too. Can’t beat that!
Cheesy Quinoa Bake with Spinach (egg, nut, and gluten free)
1/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth or water
1/2 cup red meat sauce (recipe follows)
3/4 – 1 cup baby spinach, torn into small pieces
1 tbsp. grated parmesan
3 tbsp. shredded mozzarella
- Preheat oven to 350*F.
- In a small pot, bring quinoa and broth (or water) to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, or until all of the liquid is gone and quinoa is tender and fluffy.
- Stir in the red meat sauce, spinach, and grated parmesan.
- Allow everything to heat through until the spinach is wilted.
- Spray a small, oven-safe dish with cooking spray.
- Pour the quinoa mixture into the dish, and top with the mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until the quinoa is hot and the cheese on top is melted and browned.
Red Meat Sauce Recipe (egg, nut, dairy, and gluten-free)
makes about 10 (1/2 cup) servings
– 1 lb. lean ground beef (try to choose something as lean as 85/15 or less!)
– 1/2 onion, chopped
– Garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper to taste
– 1 jar (23.25 oz.) of reduced sodium pasta sauce (I like Prego Heart Smart)
- In a large skillet, begin browning the onion and meat over medium heat.
- As the beef is cooking, sprinkle over the seasonings, to taste. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink.
- Pour over the pasta sauce, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
– Obviously, if you’re going to serve this as a family meal, increase the amount of ingredients according to the amount of people you’re serving. 😉
– If you’re vegetarian, simply leave the ground beef out of the red sauce, or use a ground beef substitute.
So there you have it! A protein packed, nutritious meal perfect for one – or a crowd!
Have a great weekend, everyone! 🙂