By Wendy Ruopp, Managing Editor of EatingWell
Quinoa is all the rage these days–and once you’ve made a few quinoa recipes, it’s not hard to see why. It cooks in 15 to 20 minutes, which means it is a truly convenient whole grain, and makes itself at home in lots of different kinds of recipes–soups, salads, casseroles, even desserts (Hello, quinoa blondies.)
When the EatingWell Test Kitchen was testing the new quinoa recipes in the March/April issue of EatingWell magazine and putting the results out for lunch at our office, the Quinoa Lasagna was a huge hit. A pan of it disappeared in minutes and people clamored for the recipe to make it at home.
For this quinoa lasagna recipe, the quinoa stands in for lasagna noodles. To assemble, you spread cooked quinoa in a 9×13-inch casserole dish. (Get our tips for how to cook quinoa perfectly every time.) Then you cover the quinoa with either jarred tomato sauce or make an easy mushroomy tomato sauce. You follow that with a layer of thinly sliced zucchini, a mixture of cottage cheese and Parmesan, a layer of spinach and top it with melty mozzarella. The result is not only simpler to put together than traditional lasagna, it’s a great vegetarian main dish that’s less than 300 calories a serving!
Makes: 8 servings
Active time: 45 minutes Total: 1 1/2 hours
This healthy quinoa lasagna recipe has a layer of quinoa (rather than noodles) along with vegetables, cheese and herbs. Though it tastes like comfort food, don’t worry, this quinoa lasagna recipe is not too heavy–you’ll still have room for dessert. To save time, use your favorite jarred tomato sauce in this vegetarian lasagna. (Adapted from “Quinoa Revolution” by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming; Pintail Books, 2012.)
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
2 tablespoons canola oil or olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups tomato sauce or prepared pasta sauce
2 cups no-salt-added low-fat cottage cheese
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 cups sliced zucchini
2 cups packed fresh spinach, tough stems removed
1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Combine water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Evenly spread the quinoa in the prepared dish.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
3. Wipe out the saucepan, then add oil and heat over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, until transparent and starting to brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are softened and very little moisture is left in the pan, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauce. Stir until hot. Remove from heat.
4. Combine cottage cheese and egg in a medium bowl; mix well. Stir in Parmesan, basil and oregano.
5. Spread one-third of the sauce over the quinoa. Make a layer of all the zucchini, then all the cottage cheese mixture, then half the remaining sauce, then all the spinach. Finish with the remaining sauce and spread mozzarella on top.
6. Bake the lasagna until it is hot and the cheese is melted, bubbling and slightly browned around the edges, 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.
Per serving: 267 calories; 11 g fat (4 g sat, 4 g mono); 39 mg cholesterol; 23 g carbohydrate; 0 g added sugars; 19 g protein; 3 g fiber; 524 mg sodium; 578 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Calcium (27% daily value), Vitamin A (24% dv), Vitamin C (21% dv), Folate (20% dv), Magnesium (19% dv), Potassium (17% dv).