So I’m pretty sure of this one thing: I was Italian princess in a previous life. Growing up, I can remember as a child whenever we went to a restaurant-doesn’t matter the type of restaurant–I was looking for the pasta dish on the menu. Spaghetti to this day-is still my tried & true fave. Pasta rules! Nothing tops it in my mind for the ultimate comfort food. Lasagna, baked ziti, cannelloni, spaghetti, linguine with clams, angel hair with pesto, fettuccine Alfredo…if its pasta–I love it.

Over the past 10 years I’ve really had to work hard at watching what I put in my mouth. Being a “slow burner” meaning-I have to keep the sugar + gluten to a minimum in order to keep my weight + blood sugar in a healthy balance–I’ve been obsessed in the kitchen finding new ways to get the same great flavors I love-and not break my nutrition rules.

 

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Enter: The Quinoa ‘Lasagna’ – it’s cheesy, it’s saucy, it’s delicious–and you’ll absolutely NEVER miss the pasta!

I LOVE quinoa because it is so versatile, and can really be used in any type of cuisine as a rice or pasta substitute because of its mouth-feel and starchiness. The awesome news for you is this: our bodies recognize & process quinoa as a seed–not a grain. This is so great for those of us who have gluten + grain intolerances, or are just trying to eat cleaner.

Ready for some deliciousness that I’m now obsessed with and make weekly? Here you go. Enjoy!

Easy + Cheesy Tomato-Basil Quinoa ‘Lasagna’

 

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce (I use whole foods 365 four-cheese
  • organic pasta sauce)
  • 5 oz ricotta cheese (I use whole milk organic ricotta)
  • 1/3 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella, divided (I use whole milk organic mozerella)
  • 2 pints organic grape tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 large bunch fresh basil, cut into ribbons
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

Instructions:

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2.  Cook 1 cup quinoa according to package instructions. (I use 2 cups liquid to 1 cup quinoa)

3. Toss tomatoes + garlic cloves with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper-toss it all well on a baking sheet, and put in the oven to roast the tomatoes and garlic.  BE SURE TO CHECK ON IT EVERY FEW MINUTES  so it doesn’t burn. Turn a few times for about 15/20 minutes until tomatoes + garlic are nice and roasted.  Remove from oven, and crush tomato + roasted garlic together to make a yummy topping.

4. Remove quinoa from stove when cooked, and put into a big bowl. Fold in the jar of sauce, ricotta, and parmesan cheeses. Once combined, spray an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish with non-stick spray and pour the entire quinoa mixture into the dish. Top mixture with your roasted tomatoes, garlic, and mozzarella cheese.

5. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes and then turn the broiler on and broil for 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.

 

6. Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil ribbons. Allow to sit five minutes and then serve.

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