Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pizza Quinoa Casserole

Confession time.

Last Friday I picked up a pizza on my way home from work. What can I say: I was just craving a thick-crusted, gooey cheese, and piping hot mushroom pizza. But that isn't my confession. I don't judge if you order pizza or get takeout, especially after a long week at work. I confess instead that it took all of my will power to not scarf down a piece on my way home. The garlic, cheese and tomato smell filling my car was so irresistible that I could barely make it the whole 10 minutes to my apartment. Granted it had been awhile since I had consumed pizza but still pretty ridiculous, right?

So moral of the story-- there is no way I could be a pizza delivery person. I do not have enough self-control to ride around with that smell everyday.

Although it had been awhile since I eaten a slice of pizza, I did have a little bit of a fix a few weeks ago with this pizza quinoa casserole. I doctored it up with green peppers and onions and would have added mushrooms if they had been in my fridge, but you could certainly use any of your fav pizza toppings. The quinoa is a great base for any flavoring and the tomato and Italian seasoning do not disappoint. Top it off with some mozzarella cheese and your house will smell like you have a fresh baked pizza.... but without the guilt of the calories and fat.

It's not delivery nor DiGiorno! It's quinoa!

Pizza Quinoa Casserole (adapted from Gloria of Food)
1/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
3/4 cup water
1/2 small onion, diced
1/4 cup diced green pepper
1 tbsp tomato paste
3 tbsp tomato juice or sauce
1/2 tbsp Italian seasoning (or a combination of basil, oregano, garlic and parsley)
salt and pepper, to taste
1/8 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat an individual baking dish with cooking spray.

Combine the water and quinoa in a small pot; bring to a boil, turn down to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes until the quinoa is completely cooked.

Combine the onion, green pepper, tomato paste, tomato juice and Italian seasoning in a bowl. Add the quinoa and stir to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Pour into the baking dish. Top with the cheese.

Bake 30-35 minutes until heated through and the cheese is browned.

Serves 1.

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