Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Italian Quinoa Bake (Pasta Replacement)



Who doesn't miss pasta when they switch to clean eating? It's just easy, so tasty, so Italiany...

So I thought of all my favorite things about pasta dishes (minus the pasta), threw them together with quinoa. And do you know what? I may never crave Italian pasta dishes again OMGGGG. Not only is it REAL tasty, this recipe makes enough to eat for lunch all week! So easy, so tasty, so Italiany AND so clean!

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Servings: A week's worth of lunches 

Ingredients: 
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped ($1.00)
  • 1 large onion, diced ($1.00)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with garlic ($1.80)- do not drain!
  • 1 bell pepper, diced ($.75)
  • 1/2 lb lean ground turkey ($3.50)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa ($2.50ish)
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning (I used parsley and basil)
  • Mozzarella cheese (just to sprinkle on your plate right before you heat it up)

Cook the quinoa. In a separate pan cook the ground turkey.While the quinoa is absorbing or whatever it's doing while it sits on simmer, combine the zucchini, onion, 2 cans of diced tomatoes WITH the juice, garlic, pepper, and seasoning in a large frying pan. Stir it all together and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and a lot of excess juice has evaporated. 
I stored the quinoa, turkey, and Italian mix separately since the two of us prefer different meat to sauce ratios. For my lunch I put a few spoonfuls of the quinoa, about 1/8 cup of turkey, a few scoops of the sauce, and a sprinkle of mozzarella into a tupperware. If you don't have competing meat to sauce preferences, go ahead and combine all of it in a tupperware. Scoop out and sprinkle some mozzarella or parmesan cheese on top and microwave whenever you're hungry! Sidenote: my pasta cravings have 100% subsided. I think I'd even choose this over pasta on a cheat day. 

Oh and don't worry- Andi monitored the turkey carefully. Just look at the concern on her face. What if you drop meat on the floor? 

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