Hodgson Mill recently introduced a new line of Quinoa & Brown Rice combinations, and I’ve been eager to share them with you. The line features a variety of flavors, including lemon pepper, Mediterranean, spicy, garlic and herb and my personal favorite: Italian. Quinoa, a whole grain that’s considered a protein powerhouse, also boasts an abundance of essential amino acids. Brown rice is minimally processed, so it contains lots of vitamins and nutrients that get stripped away from traditional white rice. Both quinoa and brown rice are also naturally gluten free and good sources of fiber. So, what do you get when quinoa and brown rice are mixed together with seasonings and spices? You end up with a healthy whole grain bonanza that’s quick to fix as a side dish or for use in a main dish such as this Italian Quinoa & Brown Rice Bake. You’ll love it!
For this recipe I decided to use Hodgson Mill Italian Quinoa & Brown Rice as the basis for a one-dish wonder that’s filled with cannellini beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, pine nuts, onions, garlic, fresh spinach, basil and mozzarella cheese. If you have gluten-free needs, use gluten-free cannellini beans and chicken broth. If you’re a vegetarian, use vegetable broth instead of chicken and you’re set. This meal is as versatile as it is delicious.
Start off by bringing the water to a boil in a medium-size saucepan and then add the Hodgson Mill Italian Quinoa & Brown Rice
. Give it a quick stir, cover the pan and reduce the heat so the pan’s only simmering. Cook for 14 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat, uncover it, fluff the quinoa mixture with a spoon and set the pan aside.
Next, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 3 minutes more.
Add the tomatoes, beans and chicken broth to the skillet and stir them together; cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the mixture is warmed through.
Next, add the spinach and gently stir until it wilts into the mixture, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and set it aside.
Mix the basil, pine nuts and salt in with the quinoa and brown rice mixture until it’s all well combined.
Now add the quinoa mixture to the skillet and gently stir everything together. This combination tastes amazing as is, so if you’re too hungry to go on to the next step, by all means get out a bowl and a fork and have some to eat. But if the idea of adding gooey melted mozzarella and the gentle bite of Parmesan to this dish has your mouth watering, move on to the next steps.
Spread half of the quinoa mixture in the bottom of a 9- or 10-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle it with half of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Top with the remaining quinoa mixture and the rest of the cheeses. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in a 375°F oven for 20 minutes or until the dish is warmed through and bubbly.
Remove the foil and place the dish under the broiler for a few minutes or until the cheese is golden brown in spots. Time to eat!
This Italian Quinoa & Brown Rice Bake
turned out as delicious as I had hoped it would. All of the flavors from the onions, garlic, fire-roasted tomatoes, spinach, basil and pine nuts come together with the Italian Quinoa and Brown Rice to make this meal taste amazing, not to mention healthy and satisfying on so many levels. With a little mozzarella here and some Parmesan there, this dish is taken to a whole other level of cheesy goodness in a mere 20 minutes in the oven. Pay a little more attention the next time you’re in the grain aisle of your grocery store to see whether you can find yourself a bag of Hodgson Mill Italian Quinoa & Brown Rice
or any of the other flavors now available. If you can’t find them locally, you can always order them from the Hodgson Mill website to be shipped directly to your home. On their own or in dishes like this one, Hodgson Mill’s new Quinoa & Brown Rice combos help make dinner great. Enjoy!
Italian Quinoa & Brown Rice Bake
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 pkg Hodgson Mill Quinoa & Brown Rice - Italian
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 14.5 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 1/3 cup chicken broth
- 1 6-oz. bag fresh spinach
- 1/3 cup fresh basil minced
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated
Bring water to a boil in a medium-size saucepan and add packet of quinoa and brown rice. Stir and cook for 14 minutes, covered, until most all of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove lid, fluff quinoa mixture with a spoon, and set pan aside. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté onion for 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 3 minutes more. Add tomatoes, beans and chicken broth to skillet and stir together; cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until warmed through. Add spinach and gently stir until it wilts into the mixture, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and set aside. Mix basil, pine nuts and salt in with quinoa and brown rice mixture until well combined. Add quinoa mixture to skillet and gently stir everything together. Spread half of the quinoa mixture into bottom of a 9- or 10-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Top with the remaining quinoa mixture and the rest of the cheeses. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake at 375° F for 20 minutes or until warmed through and bubbly. Remove foil and place dish under broiler for 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is golden brown in spots.
Serves 5 as a main course or 8 as a side-dish
Adapted from www.beardandbonnet.com.