I often see recipes in cookbooks or magazines or on other blogs that inspire me to try something new. Recently I came across a recipe for stuffed portobello mushrooms that sounded really good to me, so I added that to my menu plan for the week. However, as it very often does, my plans to follow a recipe went out the door when I was grocery shopping and another idea came to mind. I decided I didn’t want to mess around with stuffing mushroom caps and that I would just saute them separately. So then, when it came time to make dinner last night, my mind started working in overdrive with more possibilities based on what I had in my refrigerator…and I love what I came up with: a Parmesan Mushroom Quinoa Bake!! It’s flavorful, healthy, and delicious…all excellent qualities to have in a dinner, don’t you think? 😉
This recipe was inspired by the book I checked out from the library last week. It’s called The Drop 10 Diet Cookbook, by Lucy Danziger (the editor in chief of Self Magazine). It’s filled with a list of 30 superfoods, the benefits of each, as well as recipes that contain them. This recipe contains 4 superfoods, according to this particular author: mushrooms (vitamin D, selenium, cancer fighter, and immunity booster), olive oil (helps to stifle appetite and is rich in monounsaturated fats), Parmesan (calcium, protein), and quinoa (fiber, protein, delivers a long-term steam of energy). Sounds good to me!
- 1-2 T olive oil
- 16 oz white button mushrooms
- 8 oz Portobello mushrooms, sliced
- ½ - 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1-2 large handfuls of fresh baby spinach
- 2 cups quinoa (uncooked measurement)
- 2 cups Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- Cook quinoa according to instructions. (I use this rice cooker.)
- Preheat large skillet over medium heat.
- Once hot, add oil and turn to coat bottom of skillet.
- Add diced bell peppers and mushrooms; let cook down.
- Add spinach and continue cooking (and stirring occasionally) until spinach is wilted.
- Drain into colander to get rid of excess liquid.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Lightly grease 9 x 13 baking dish with olive oil.
- In a large bowl, mix together the cooked quinoa, veggies, and 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese.
- Transfer to the baking dish, spread evenly, and top with the remaining cup of cheese.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
Two of my kids decided not to eat their dinner last night. 🙁 However, I think on a regular day, they absolutely would have. Without going into an extremely long detail of our day, I will just say that they had too many snacks/treats as we were out and about during the day: a party with cake, free samples at Costco, candy from my neighbor who hid Easter eggs for them to find, and…I’ll admit…they each ate a cookie that I bought from Costco (they were on sale and my husband LOVES them). Even though we were gone ALL day and then played outside for 4 hours in the afternoon before coming in for dinner, I know they weren’t all that hungry. When my daughter said she didn’t want to eat dinner at all and would rather play in her room, I reminded her that she wouldn’t get anything else to eat…and she was totally okay with that. So, clearly, they had too much to eat throughout the day. My other boy ate his entire bowlful and said it was really good. And since my husband also ate his whole bowl and liked it, I’m going to take that as a sign that it’s a good recipe! 🙂
This makes A LOT of casserole. Feel free to halve the recipe and put in a square baking dish, but what I like about making large portions is that we’ll now get to eat this one more night for dinner. When the weather is nice out, I don’t like to be inside cooking every afternoon, so when one night of cooking equals two nights of dinner, I’m one happy mom!! This could also be a hearty side dish or…be made even more filling by adding cooked sausage or shredded chicken. I’m not a big meat eater, so I’m happy to eat ‘vegetarian’ meals most nights, but those might be good additions, as well.
Also, as usual, feel free to add/adjust the recipe to your family’s preferences. We love mushrooms, but aren’t big fans of garlic and onion. However, I think those could add a lot of flavor to this dish. I often like to think that my recipes serve as starting points for inspiration and you can adjust and adapt as you see fit. If you try this, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! And hopefully the two of my kids that wouldn’t eat this last night will be more willing to actually try it tonight! I can guarantee I won’t be serving up an all-day-buffet-of-snacks again like yesterday!