January 24th, 2013

TWI and a Crockpot Quinoa Casserole

Detoxing from my trip to Carb City USA…

Week: +1.2

Total: -47.8

My weekend in New Jersey was awesome! But… full of food. I stopped just short of third base with a pan of penne vodka (do they eat that outside of NJ?) and combined with the bagel, brownies, and pizza… carb overload happened. I’m fine with my gain because I know if I work as hard as I had been before vacation, I’ll be fine. Plus, B and I are doing a 5k on Saturday!

No other fun “losing it” news right now, so I HAVE to share a new recipe I tried today! I am a huge fan of crock pots but really only use mine to heat BCD. I’m mostly vegetarian and very picky, so there’s not quite as much for me to use it for.

Then I found So Very Blessed‘s recipe for Crockpot Quinoa Casserole. Hello, yummy.

She may not be the prettiest, but she sure is DELICIOUS!

It’s very customizable, and I changed it a lot. I think this would be amazing with broccoli and cheddar if you like broccoli cheese soup! Or spinach and parmesan… nom! I halved the recipe, omitted the sour cream and all veggies except zucchini (which I doubled), added green onions, and white cheddar/hot sauce. Delicious. Slightly sweet and spicy, the perfect hearty and warm dish for the winter (what is winter? I think I forgot…) and my version is just under 300 calories! I think when I eat leftovers I might crumble some bacon into it too. Because I’m crazy like that.

Check out the original recipe here for directions. But so you have them, I’ll list my changes below. Remember I halved the recipe.

My ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1  7/8 cups low sodium chicken broth (aka just short of 2 cups)
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 3 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/8 cup green onion
  • 4 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
  • 2 oz vermont white cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tbsp Frank’s Red Hot (or your favorite hot sauce, to taste)
  • Red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, to taste

I added all the veg up front with the quinoa like Becky did, and then added the cheeses/hot sauce at the end. I cooked mine on high for about three and a half hours, then put it on warm to melt in the cheeses, etc. Becky has directions for cooking it low and slow too.

So if you’re into quinoa, and weird looking delicious hot foods, try this out!

8 comments to TWI and a Crockpot Quinoa Casserole

  • Becca

    I live in Michigan and our favorite restaurant has an amazing penne vodka. It comes with a side salad, a huge breadstick, and enough pasta that I can usually stretch the leftovers to two more meals! That recipe looks delicious, my boyfriend says he doesn’t like the taste of quinoa, but I’m determined to prove him wrong!

  • Sean M

    1) Penne vodka is amazing! Is that seriously mainly a Jersey thing?! This would even trump the pork roll revelation shocker of ’96.
    2) This recipe looks just as yummy so its extra amazing considering its somewhat healthy too. Melissa and I can’t wait to make it, and your extra add-ons sound like a good idea too.
    3) Not sure if you’re a fan but I’m OBSESSED with fat-free Greek yogurt. I use it as a substitute for just about anything even moderately close to it (cream cheese, hell even mayo and mustard), but its an especially great replacement for sour cream, could be a nice bonus in this recipe as well.
    4) Thanks for sharing!

    Sean (Melissa’s boyfriend)

  • That sounds so yummmm and now I feel like adding “eat white cheddar cheese” to my California Bucket List!

  • Yum to the recipe (pinning it) and yum to penne vodka…is it just a vodka sauce with penne? If so, I have a tasty and super easy vodka sauce recipe on the little ol’ food blog. Come to think of it, I may make it next week!

  • I’ve never had quinoa! This sounds so good.

  • Debbie

    I think Penne with vodka sauce is just Italian–most Italian restaurants I’ve run across have it! :-) I live in Maryland.

  • Nan

    This looks awesome, I’d probably hide a bazillion more veggies in it too. I pinned the orig. recipe because we don’t have a slow-cooker. Thanks for the recipe!! :)

  • 1. It is totally 100% cool to gain a little on vacation. In fact, I am pretty sure it is like mandatory. Also, I have never heard of vodka penne but it sounds weird (sorry).
    2. I never use my crock pot either… We eat mostly vegetarian and chicken (much to the hubby’s dismay) and I really never think about it.
    3. I have never had quinoa. I kind of don’t really know what it is even. This dish reminds me just a bit of fried rice and I like fried rice. Perhaps I should try it. Perhaps I should try to find my crock pot first…

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