It’s an unfortunate fact that most of my favorite breakfast foods are loaded with fat, sodium, and sugar – pancakes, waffles, casseroles, Eggs Benedict, etc. It’s a tough fact of life that these are so delicious, yet competely unhealthy. You may be thinking, “Oh, well try multigrain pancakes!” or “How about the soy-based sausage?” I’m a realist; there’s just simply no comparison. So what’s a breakfast-craving, trying-to-eat-healthier woman to do?
Enter the Quinoa Egg Bake. It’s an easy, nutritious casserole, but excludes a lot of the fatty ingredients that make the dish
delicious unhealthy. However, it’s full of flavor, thanks to garlic, fresh thyme, parmesan, and spinach.
Spinach is loaded with fiber, vitamins A & C, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin K, and folates. It’s one of our top vegetable picks for everything from dips, omelettes, soups, and salads.
If you’ve never had quinoa, it’s a plant-based complete protein that contains all of the eight essential amino acids, and it’s touted as a “superfood” because of its remarkable ratio of fats, carbohydrates, and protein. Often we eat it in place of rice or another starch as an accompaniment to our main course. Providing a blank canvas for a plethora of salads, side dishes, and casseroles, quinoa is extremely versatile and delicious.
This recipe can be prepared in just minutes and would be a fantastic addition to a breakfast or brunch spread alongside some fresh fruit. Tonight we had breakfast for dinner; I served it with some multigrain bread that we slathered with my homemade orange marmalde. The original recipe says it serves six, but realistically, it serves four.
Quinoa Egg Bake
1 teaspoon butter or butter substitute
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/4 cup nonfat milk
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
1 cup finely shredded Romano or Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch x 8-inch glass or metal baking dish with butter; set aside.
- Put quinoa into a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until water runs clear; drain well.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, and quinoa. Stir in spinach, then pour mixture into prepared dish.
- Cover tightly with foil then jiggle dish gently from side to side so that quinoa settles on the bottom in an even layer. Bake until just set, about 45 minutes.
- Remove foil and sprinkle top evenly with cheese. Return to oven and bake, uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes more.
- Set aside to let cool briefly, then slice and serve.