I haven't been using quinoa as much lately, because I've been playing so much with the smoker/grill, but I decided it was time to change that. This recipe looked pretty dang good for starters, so I only made very minor modifications. Isaac took one bite of it and declared that he loved it, so I'm considering it a total win.
- 2 cups dry quinoa
- 4 cups cooking liquid
- 2 pounds extra lean ground turkey
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 medium garlic cloves, crushed
- 4-5 large handfuls spinach and/or kale, chopped
- 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
- 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
- 3 cups light cheddar and/or mozzarella cheese, shredded
- ¼ teaspoon thyme, dry
- 2 teaspoons basil, dry
- Salt & ground black pepper to taste
- Cooking spray
- Green onions and diced tomatoes for garnish (optional)
- Cook quinoa as per package instructions and undercook by 4 minutes. Add to a large mixing bowl.
- Preheat oven to 375ºF and spray 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Preheat skillet on medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Add turkey and sauté for 5 minutes, breaking into pieces with the spatula. Drain the excess liquid and add to the bowl with quinoa.
- Return skillet to medium heat and spray with cooking spray again. Add garlic and onions, and fry until golden brown. Add spinach and kale and sauté until wilted. Transfer to a bowl with quinoa and turkey.
- Add tomato sauce, bread crumbs, 2 cups of cheese, thyme, basil, salt and ground pepper to taste. Mix enough to combine.
- Transfer the mixture into the baking dish, sprinkle with remaining 1 cup of cheese and bake for 25 minutes. If needed, turn broiler on to finish browning the top for a minute or two. Serve immediately, no need to let the casserole cool down.
- Optional: sprinkle with diced tomatoes, green onions, a dollop of Greek yogurt or salsa.
I used the Simon & Garfunkel spice mix instead of basil and thyme, because I had some left over from my smoked turkey. I also used the smoked turkey stock as the cooking liquid for the quinoa, but water would work just fine in this recipe.
I used about half kale and half spinach, and also half cheddar and half mozzerella cheese.