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  • Writer's pictureLindsey, EDRD

Are you keen on keenwa?

Updated: Aug 29, 2019

Er, quinoa.

Seriously who came up with the pronunciation of that?

Quinoa is something I don't really do a whole lot of. Usually if I'm doing a grain it'll be instant brown rice. Why do dietitians like quinoa though? Ch-check out that fiber and protein content- definitely more than your other grains.

The other week I made a basic Minnesota hotdish with noodles. Two days ago we had yet another snowy day, and I was craving more hotdish type comforting foods.

I decided to try my hand at a quinoa hotdish and maaaaaaaan it was good!

Chicken Quinoa Bake -2 cups dry quinoa, any type, cooked to package instructions (pssst- I like to cook it in broth rather than plain water) -2-3 nice big boneless skinless chicken breasts OR 2-3 cups already cooked chicken/canned/rotisserie/frozen/etc -1 large yellow onion, diced -3 tablespoons butter or olive oil -1 package Laughing Cow Creamy Swiss wedges (totals 8 wedges) -1 bag fresh spinach or kale or a blend of the two -1/2 cup milk (cow's, almond, etc) -1 teaspoon salt -2 teaspoons pepper -1 teaspoon garlic powder -1 teaspoon onion powder -1 tablespoon dried parsley -8 oz gouda or Gruyere cheese, grated #ChickenQuinoaBake

1. Arrange chicken breasts in a baking pan. My pan is about 8x12 but it's deep. A regular 9x13 would also work. Drizzle olive oil over them, sprinkle with half the salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for an hour. Let cool for 10 minutes or so, then dice it up into 1/2"-ish chunks 2. While that's cooking, let's caramelize the onions. Heat up the butter or olive oil in a skillet and cook onions over medium-low, stirring about every five minutes, until they're nicely browned. My burner runs hot and I ended up cooking over low- you want these baaaaarely sizzling, otherwise they'll scorch without actually caramelizing. 3. When everything is ready, combine quinoa, chicken, cooked onion, Laughing Cow, spinach/kale, and seasonings in a huge bowl. Add milk to get a creamy consistency- you may need less or more than what's listed. Use your judgment and you won't be wrong. 4. Spray the same pan you just cooked your chicken in with nonstick cooking spray. Spread quinoa mix, cover with grated cheese and bake covered with foil at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. 5. Crank up the oven to a low broil, remove the foil, and cook for an additional ~5 minutes or until cheese is starting to brown in places. Remove from oven and serve!

My new baking dish- Home Goods DOES ME NO WRONG.

This proved to be just as good as any noodle hotdish, but with an increased nutrition factor (hello protein

and fiber). My kids were hesitant at first because the quinoa looked so different. I assured them it tasted just like rice and with a bit of coaxing, they took their first bites. Then second, then third, and so on.

Recipe makes eight servings and freezes well.

Per serving: 416 calories,

33 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 19 grams fat, 28 grams protein. If you wanted to trim fat/calories, you could omit or halve the cheese on top.

Happy comfort food eating!

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