Eating Light – Mexican Quinoa Casserole

Today, I invite all of you to head on over to my sister’s (aka my Biffer) blog to check out my guest post. I was able to contribute to Day 10 of her 31 day challenge on blogging about LIGHT – so I provided a recipe for eating lightBaked Mexican Quinoa Casserole

My sister has been on a major quinoa kick – so I figured I’d follow along. Check out my recipe for Mexican Quinoa Casserole on her site: Our Morning Glories.

It’s an awesome recipe for Meatless Monday – but honestly, I ate it for two meals after that! It’s packed with protein so it fills you up without filling you out (see what I did there?). So stop by her blog, stay a while and read about my stinking adorable nephews, and make sure to give this recipe a try!

Mexican Quinoa Casserole_cookingonthebrightside

Also, if you love you some quinoa like we do, check out some of these other recipes she has posted:

Cashew Quinoa

Quinoa Apple Salad

Thai Veggie Quinoa (where the broccoli is raw, right Biffer?)

Lemon-Cilantro Quinoa

And of course, you can find Buffalo Quinoa Cakes on my blog. Because here, we do all the buffalo-flavored things!

Hope y’all have a great weekend!

Advertisements

Potatoes Romanoff

I absolutely love potatoes. As I mentioned in a post about what I eat when I’m not cooking my more semi-elaborate meals, a baked potato is my favorite standby.

I also love the Olympics. Twice this week I’ve sat down with the computer with every intention of giving you a delicious recipe to try, and twice this week I’ve gotten sucked in as soon as Bob Costas starts giving his re-cap. I’m a little sad that it’ll be over on Sunday, but at least I will get my life back. Who knew women’s handball and BMX semifinals could be so enthralling?

So since I’ve been non-existent this week, I figured I owed you a really yummy recipe. This recipe does need some advanced prep work, but I promise you friends, it totally pays off – in taste and in grating so much you might build some good muscle tone! (It also makes a lot, so you will probably get to enjoy leftovers unless you have a really big crowd!).

Potatoes Romanoff (Serves 10 / 4 WW pts. per serving)

3 medium russet potatoes

3/4 cup minced shallot

8 oz. reduced fat white cheddar (I used Cabot)

2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 1/2 cups fat-free sour cream

Preheat your oven to 425. Scrub and dry potatoes. Wrap in foil and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let potatoes cool – you can use the freezer or refrigerator to speed up that process if you’re running a little short on time!

While potatoes are baking, mince your shallots and grate your cheese.

When potatoes are cool enough to handle, grate into a large bowl. I leave skins on as much as I can to give it a little texture, but sometimes it starts coming off in big pieces so I just discard those.

Add sour cream, half of your cheese, shallots and salt and pepper. I usually end up adding a little more salt since there is a lot of potato to season!

Gently mix with a rubber spatula or your hands so you don’t end up “mashing” the grated potato (this is why you let it cool – if it’s too warm, it mashes easier).

Place mixture in a lightly greased baking dish and top with remaining grated cheese.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes and serve.

Seriously y’all, this is absolutely divine served with steaks – but I’m sure it’s great with anything…

Happy Friday everybody!

 

Cajun Shrimp Casserole

On a beautiful weekend, I found myself upstairs doing more garage sale labeling – which was fine since I got a little time by the pool on Saturday while hanging out with my Mommy!

I got to a box of old cookbooks and started to label them, when I realized it was a ton of cookbooks I had won at a silent auction. I put them in my parents laundry room when I was living with them – and suddenly, I was moving into an apartment, working full-time, planning a wedding and getting married. They never made the move with me…

I had never looked through them – and man, there were some jewels in these cookbooks! It was definitely fun doing some “research” as I like to call it. Sometimes, I just like combing back through to see if something sticks out that hasn’t before or inspires me to create something on my own!

I have also found Pinterest is a great resource for this when I’m feeling a little on the lazy side because I can see pictures versus reading through ingredients and instructions.

Well, I found my second Pinterest recipe (I hate to remind you about the first one, because it is definitely not in the healthy category like this one!) that I just HAD to make and I really feel like I branched out a little, because, well, I don’t like casseroles.

Actually, that’s not true. I don’t like “main dish” casseroles. I LOVE casseroles that are side dishes – particularly when they involve potatoes. But for some reason, casseroles that serve as a main dish kind of eek me out.  I have one or two I know I can handle – I’m not sure if they are too bland or if it’s just mixing everything up together…

I know, I know. I’m weird and it’s totally a “me” thing. But I’m also the person who wishes plates with dividers were appropriate for occasions other than barbecues because I don’t like my foods touching. So I think that plays a major role in my completely irrational behavior toward casseroles.

Well, I just went crazy apparently and decided to make this beauty and man, am I glad I did!

Cajun Shrimp Casserole (3 servings – recipe halved from original)

1 pound shrimp, tails removed

1/2 Tbsp. margarine

1/3 cup chopped red onion

1/4 cup chopped yellow bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped orange bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 cup sliced okra (fresh or frozen)

1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice

3/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning

1/2 can cream of celery soup

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice

3 Tbsp. reduced-fat Parmesan cheese

(Also worth noting, you can buy a 10oz. bag of frozen chopped peppers and onions – just to shave even more time off!)

Preheat oven to 350.

Melt margarine in large skillet and add onions and bell peppers and saute 5-7 minutes until tender. Add garlic and saute an additional minute.

Stir in okra, lemon juice, salt and Cajun seasoning. Saute 3-5 minutes.

Add shrimp and cook 5-6 minutes until shrimp turn pink and are cooked through.

Add soup, wine, soy sauce and cayenne pepper. Mix well.

Pour mixture into lightly greased baking dish. Add rice and stir until incorporated. Top with grated Parmesan.

Bake 20-25 minutes until bubbling slightly. Let set about 5 minutes before serving.

I should just call this “Gumbo Casserole” because that’s pretty much what it tasted like to me!

The husband re-heated some for leftovers and said it may have been even better the second time around, so I might make sure I have 2 pounds of shrimp the next time I make this so we can have more to go around – because I have found a casserole I LOVE!