Monday, March 10, 2014

Culinary Pursuits: Coconut Quinoa Bake

As promised, I'm bringing you guys this coconut quinoa bake recipe. Shamefully, I bought this bag of quinoa from Trader Joe's months ago and it has just been sitting in the pantry, staring at me every time I plan my meals for the week. Well this week I was determined to use it and I did! I also had to incorporate some of my fave healthy staples into the dish including oven roasted sweet potatoes, pecan smoked, apple and gouda smoked chicken sausage, and spinach. Check out the recipe below:

3 medium sweet potatoes
Holmes Smokehouse 5 pecan smoked apple and gouda smoked chicken sausage (Publix)
2 bags of 12 oz spinach
3 tablespoons of coconut milk
1 large squash
2 cups of tricolor quinoa
Ground cinnamon
Sea salt
Goat cheese (optional)


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. While the oven is preheating slice your sweet potatoes. You can slice them in cubes or medallions, whichever way you prefer. See the picture for how I sliced mine.
  3. Once diced coat two pans with cooking spray, and then spread the sweet potatoes evenly amongst the two. 
  4. Once sweet potatoes are sliced spray them with cooking spray and drizzle one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil on each pan, sprinkle with cinnamon, and then place them in the oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Slice the chicken sausage and set aside. After the sweet potatoes have been cooking for 30 minutes, add the sausage on top of the sweet potatoes and cook for 15-20 more minutes.
  6. Cook the spinach in two tablespoons of olive oil using sea salt and the Olive Garden Garlic and Herb seasoning and set aside.
  7. Rinse the 2 cups of quinoa in cold water and drain fully before cooking. Bring to a boil with 4 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of coconut milk, and a pinch of sea salt. Once the quinoa has been brought to a boil, lower it to a simmer, cover, and cook until the water is gone. (Follow the instructions on the package if they differ).
  8. While the quinoa is boiling chop the squash, spray it with cooking spray and season it with Olive Garden's Garlic and Herb Seasoning.
  9. Coat a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray. 
  10. Once the quinoa is done cooking take it out and spread 4 cups of it evenly across the pre-coated pan. 
  11. Take 1 tablespoon of coconut milk and spread it over the first layer of quinoa. Evenly spread all of your spinach, and 1 pan of roasted sweet potatoes and sausage over that first layer. 
  12. Take 3 cups of cooked quinoa and spread it over the sweet potatoes, sausage. Finally add your squash on top and put it in the oven for 15-20 minutes. 
  13. Take out of the oven and keep covered with aluminum foil.
  14. Serve with a tablespoon of goat cheese sprinkled on top if you like.

This makes a lot so you'll have food to last you for a while. Try it out and let me know what you think in the comments!

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