White Bean, Spinach, and Quinoa Bake

This is a favorite in our house.  A nice meat-free entree that fills you up without stuffing you full.  Great for a cold night like the ones we have been having lately.  It’s going to be a long winter….In process Right outta the oven!

I found this on Pinterest, it’s originally from a blog called Beard and Bonnet.  I’ve adapted it below…

Ingredients:
1 cup of quinoa (I used red) Rinse, Boil and Simmer as Directed (Makes about 2.5 cups)
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic (1.5 teaspoons from the jar!)
1 14.5 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes, drained but juice reserved
1 can of cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup fresh basil, minced plus an additional 2-3 Tbsp. basil for garnish, chiffonade (I used dried basil, about 1/2 tablespoon)
1/3 cup pine nuts
5 cups baby spinach ( used the whole bag, about 6 cups total)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 375*.  Spray 9.5×11″ pan with spray or coat with olive oil.  This may not be  necessary but better safe than stuck.

2.  Start cooking the quinoa.

3.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet (biggest one you’ve got!) over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute until tender (about 4-5 min).

4.  Add the garlic to the pan and saute another 2-3 minutes until the onions are translucent and the garlic soft.

5.  Add the drained tomatoes (save that juice!)  and crush any large chunks (or don’t if you like chunky tomatoes like I do!)

6.  Add the white beans and allow to cook for 5-7 minutes or until beans are warmed through, stirring frequently.

7.  Just before the beans are cooked through add the fresh spinach and gently turn and toss so that it will start to will, 3-4 min.

8.  In a large bowl combine the precooked quinoa, reserved tomato juice, basil, pine nuts, salt and pepper; mix thoroughly.

9.  Fold the bean and tomato mixture into the quinoa mixture until combined then spread half of it into the bottom of the baking dish.

10.  Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the dish and then top with remaining quinoa mixture.

11.  Cover the dish with foil and bake 15-25 minutes until warmed thoroughly and bubbly.  At the very end remove the foil.  Broil for a couple minutes if desired.

12.  Enjoy!  (With more cheese like we did, of course)

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