5-Cheese Layered Quinoa Casserole

I needed ideas for supper last night, so I asked the hubby if he had any suggestions. I told him it had to use hamburger since that is what I had thawed and ready. Between the two of us, we came up with this casserole. I am just estimating on the amounts because I really didn’t measure the spices or most of the cheeses! It must have been a success because there are no leftovers!

3/4 c. dry quinoa (I used tri-color quinoa)

1-1/2 c. water

Combine the water and quinoa. Bring water to a boil and cook quinoa for about 15 minutes. While it is cooking, work on the beef mixture.

1-1/2 lbs. ground beef

2-3 mini sweet peppers, diced

1/2 medium onion, diced

Brown the ground beef. Add the peppers and onions to the meat and cook until tender. Drain off fat. Sprinkle the beef mixture with (maybe 1/2 tsp each) salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, basil and chili powder. Stir in well. Add a medium handful of fresh spinach, stir, and cover. Turn off heat and let rest while you make the cheese sauce.

8 oz cream cheese

1/2 c. cottage cheese

2-3 eggs

1 c. ricotta cheese

1/2 c. Parmesan cheese

Add the cheeses and eggs together in a large mixing bowl and mix well. I used my stick blender, but a hand mixer is fine, too.

Lightly grease a 9×9 inch baking pan. Spread half of the meat mixture on the bottom of the pan. Layer half of the quinoa on the meat and then half of the cheese mixture. Repeat layers. Spread grated mozzarella cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Serve with a fresh green salad!

Serves 6-8.  If you make it for 6 servings, there are just 13 carbs per serving. If 8 servings, there are 10 carbs per serving.


Bacon Frittatas

I think I am finally feeling more rested after our wedding weekend of last week.  I have spent time this week getting laundry done, putting things away, grocery shopping, and just generally being low-key.  Nothing on the calendar means more time to relax!

Last night for dinner I made bacon frittatas.  The basic recipe for this came from the hubby who saw it on one of his late-night cooking shows. He didn’t remember which one, and when I did an internet search, I came up with LOTS of similar recipes. As I searched, I learned that a frittata is Italian, not Mexican like I had thought. I also learned that it is like an omelette, but not folded over.  And I also learned that just about anything that goes in an omelette can go in a frittata. It is a great recipe to make if you have leftovers in the fridge or if you want to make a breakfast supper.

It is best to use a cast iron skillet or any skillet that can go in the oven as well as on the stove-top.  I am going to give you amounts for a large skillet, but you can adjust for a smaller size.

8 eggs

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. oregano

1/2 tsp. basil

1 large tomato, sliced

1 large onion, sliced into rings

4-5 slices of bacon, cut into small pieces and fried

Parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, ricotta cheese (amounts vary to taste)

Olive oil

Beat the eggs with the spices in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a large cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil.  Saute’ onion rings until tender. Remove to a plate.  Add more oil to skillet if necessary and gently cook tomatoes, turning just once.  Remove to a plate.  Again add more oil if needed. Return onion rings and tomato slices to the skillet, arranging the tomatoes on top of the onion rings. Sprinkle bacon pieces over the tomatoes.

Pour the egg mixture on top of the onions, tomatoes, and bacon.  Cook on stove top until mostly set. If using ricotta cheese, place small amounts over the eggs, evenly spaced.  Place into a 325 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes to finish cooking.  If using cheddar or Parmesan cheese, sprinkle it over the top after baking and let melt.  Serves 4-5 depending on how large you cut the pieces.  Serve with toast!

I neglected to take a picture of ours, but here is a link that shows what the final product looks like. It also uses other ingredients which will give you other ideas for your own personal frittata!   Enjoy!