Some­thing hearty and healthy to start the year

The Woolwich Observer - - LIVING HERE - RECIPE NOTES


over-in­dulging in food and drink dur­ing the hol­i­days prompted a New Year’s res­o­lu­tion list that in­cludes eat­ing bet­ter. Some health­ier choices are likely in order just for a change, at any rate.

Get a plate­ful of colour from this com­fort­ing casse­role made with quinoa and veg­eta­bles. The melted cheese top­ping with its crispy edges makes it sim­ply ir­re­sistible – and we don’t want to go cold turkey on the in­dul­gences, right?

Leeks are a nice choice in this Quinoa and Veg­gie Casse­role, but need to be thor­oughly cleaned. Trim the roots and some of the dark green tops off. Cut in half length­wise and wash well.

This recipe also lets you get ahead of the game: the night be­fore, com­plete step one and the first part of step two, then re­frig­er­ate overnight. Pop it in the oven for din­ner the next day, in­creas­ing the bake time by 5 to 10 min­utes from the 35 min­utes it would be oth­er­wise.

This casse­role is ver­sa­tile so you can use what­ever veg­gies you have on hand.

No broc­coli? No wor­ries. Use cau­li­flower in­stead. Swap peas for corn.

Quinoa and Veg­gie Casse­role

2 tsp. ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

1 leek, white and light green

part only, thinly sliced

3 cloves gar­lic, minced

1 red, or­ange or yel­low bell

pep­per, chopped

2 tsp. Ital­ian herb sea­son­ing

1 cup quinoa, rinsed

2 cups broc­coli flo­rets

1-3/4 cups sodium re­duced

veg­etable broth

1 cup corn ker­nels

175 mL (3/4 cup) shred­ded

light old Ched­dar cheese

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh pars­ley

In a large non­stick skil­let, heat oil over medium heat and cook leek, gar­lic, red pep­per and Ital­ian herb sea­son­ing for 5 min­utes or un­til start­ing to soften. Stir in quinoa, broc­coli and veg­etable broth. Bring to a boil; re­duce heat to low and cover and cook for about 15 min­utes or un­til quinoa is ten­der. Stir in corn and cook for 5 min­utes.

Spoon mix­ture into small casse­role dish and sprin­kle with cheese and pars­ley. Bake in pre­heated 200°C (400°F) oven for about 10 min­utes or un­til cheese is melted.

Makes 6 serv­ings.

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