I am typically a happy camper with my bowl of yogurt and fruit, muffin, or cereal, but every few days I turn into a ravenous beast who can only be satisfied by something more substantial and savory. It’s not an easily solved problem because as much as I love to cook, I do not enjoy cooking at the break of dawn. Adding to the complication, I don’t like starting the day feeling overly full. Satisfied, yes; stuffed, no.
Quinoa to the rescue.
In addition to it’s great taste and superstar nutrition profile (the only vegetable-source of complete protein), it makes me feel wonderful: satisfied for hours, yet not too full. I’m already a quinoa porridge fan,Once cooked in a square, this little casserole of sorts can be cut into handy, on-the-go breakfast bars.
They are super-simple to prepare, too. The only semi-fussy step is squeezing the liquid from the frozen spinach. Fear not; it’s really not difficult or time-consuming. Just plop the thawed spinach in the center of a clean, thin-ish dish towel and start squeezing. Thinking of something/someone that/who annoys you will make even faster. Just be sure to rinse the towel well before throwing it in the hamper.
I like these bars exactly as they are, which is in itself a rarity, as my recipe-tinkering is a constant. But these lovely bars can be accessorized in countless ways to your liking. Think herbs. Cheeses. Even bacon. Oh, and you could definitely have this as a side at dinner or lunch, too. Enjoy!
|Here is the humble assemblage of five ingredients (less salt & pepper)|
|I added 2 teaspoons of dried herbes de Provence; entirely optional, but yummy.|
|I am obsessed with foil-lining my baking pans because (a) I loathe washing pans and this eliminates said chore; and (b) it is so much easier to remove the baked item and cut into bars, squares or other portions.|
|Your breakfast is ready!|
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 16-oz bag frozen chopped spinach, thawed (feel free to thaw in microwave)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 cup nonfat cottage cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 3 to 4 green onions, chopped (3 if they are very large, as mine were)
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-inch square baking dish with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Combine the quinoa with 2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 14 to 16 minutes until water has been absorbed, Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Place the spinach in a clean dish towel and squeeze out all of the liquid. Add spinach to bowl with quinoa along with the oil, cottage cheese, eggs, green onions, salt, pepper, and (optional) dried herbs. Stir until well blended.
- Spread quinoa mixture in prepared pan, smoothing top.
- Bake 55 to 65 minutes until set and golden brown. Transfer to cooling rack. Cool at least 20 minutes or completely, then remove bars from pan using foil; cut into 16 bars. Store in refrigerator, Serve cold or re-warm for 15 seconds in microwave. Keeps 3-4 days, covered, in refrigerator, or freeze for up to 1 month.