Quinoa Bake with Fresh Kale and Spinach


My husband and I have been traveling a lot over the past 4 weeks and haven’t had access to a good kitchen. Though the hostels we’ve stayed in had kitchens, it can be challenging to wade through the pile of dirty dishes then fish around in the fridge for your food before starting to cook a meal. So we chose to eat granola for breakfast, have lunch or dinner at a restaurant, and then supplement with peanut butter sandwiches.

Needless to say, when we finally settled into our new apartment in Boquete, Panama, we were giddy about cooking food for ourselves in our own kitchen. Add in that the apartment comes with a garden full of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, and the farmers market and fresh vegetables markets are just a 20 minute walk away and we’re beside ourselves with vegetable bliss. Hooray! So please forgive me for requiring just a tiny bit from each vegetable for this recipe. We just couldn’t help ourselves.

Prep Time: > 1 hr
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

What You Need

  • 4 eggs
  • ⅛ cup cheese (I used cheddar because that’s what I had, but a dill havarti would ave been really nice)
  • ½ cup dry/uncooked quinoa (which you need to cook)
  • ½ small white onion
  • 1 small carrot or 4 baby carrots
  • ⅛ cup celery
  • ¼ cup zucchini
  • ⅛ cup chayote
  • ½ red bell pepper (we used 6 tiny red mystery peppers from the back yard)
  • ¼ anaheim pepper
  • 4 large cherry or grape tomatoes
  • ⅛ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh kale
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 tsp garlic salt (or sea salt)

What You Do

  1. Preheat your oven. Our oven here in Panama has settings of 1-4. We chose 3. As it turned out, 3 worked just fine.
  2. Cook the quinoa and set it aside (1 cup of boiling water,  ½ cup dry quinoa, simmer low until water is gone).
  3. Finely dice all of the vegetables that will need to be sautéed: onion, carrot, celery, zucchini, chayote, bell pepper, anaheim pepper, and set them aside in a frying pan.
  4. Finely dice all of the vegetables that will not be sautéed: tomatoes, parsley, kale, spinach, and set them aside in a bowl.
  5. Sautee or steam fry the vegetables. I didn’t use any oil here, just kept moving them around the pan quickly for a few minutes until they became aromatic and the onions became translucent. When they’re ready, take them off the heat.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, beat all 4 eggs.
  7. Dice the cheese, and mix it into the eggs along with the salt.
  8. Prepare a 4×9″ baking dish by rubbing about 1.5 tsp olive oil along the bottom and sides.
  9. Slowly add the quinoa to the eggs, mixing well.
  10. Add the uncooked vegetables to the mix, stir, then mix in the cooked vegetables.
  11. Transfer the whole mix to the baking dish, and spread it evenly.
  12. Bake for 30 minutes.
  13. Serve with a hearty rye or your favorite artisan bread

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