I know I’m a little late with the weigh in post.  Joe was in his last week of his online class and has been on the computer each night, but today he submitted his final assignment and is finished until August 27th!!!

So weigh in was good this week.  In this extreme heat, I have no idea why I decided to make a casserole for dinner on wednesday, but I’m so glad I did because it was fantastic!!  I seem to be getting my inspiration from Pinterest recently.  I found the original recipe at EatLiveRun, but I switched out some ingredients to make it healthier.  The best food exchange was taking out the regular cheddar cheese and replacing it with Cabot 50% reduced fat jalapeno cheddar cheese.  The heat from the jalapeno really added to the flavor of the recipe.  Also, if you’re going to make this ahead of time and reheat, I would steer clear of using the Panko bread crumbs.  They just add calories and end up mushy when you reheat.


Spinach & Cheese Quinoa Casserole

4-6 servings ~ Calories


1 1/2 cups dry quinoa

3 cups low sodium fat free chicken broth

1 red bell pepper, chopped

3 green onions, chopped

1 tsp minced garlic

bag of fresh baby spinach

Cooking spray (I like the kind with Olive Oil)

1 cup skim milk

2 cups grated Cabor 50% reduced fat jalapeno cheddar cheese

1 cup Panko breadcrumbs (optional)

1/2 cups grated skim mozzerella cheese

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp black pepper


Preheat oven to 375.

Spray large sauce pot with cooking spray and heat pot on medium heat. Once hot, add the chopped bell pepper, scallions and spinach and saute for about four minutes—just until bell pepper has started to soften. Add the garlic and continue sauteing for another 30 seconds.

Add dry quinoa to the pot, followed by the chicken broth, salt, dry mustard and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until all liquid has been absorbed. Stir well.

Now, add the grated cheddar cheese and milk. Stir to combine then pour into a greased 9 x 13″ casserole dish. In a small bowl, combine the Panko (optional) and the mozzerella cheese. Sprinkle on top of casserole and bake for about 30 minutes until golden.

Let cool for 10 minutes before serving for the sauce to set up.