Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Spinach and Cranberries

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Over the last two years, Quinoa has boomed in popularity. It’s not hard to see why, the only hard thing to see is why it took so long. With just a little research it is easy to identify some major benefits to cooking with quinoa. The two that stick out the most to me are:

  1. Quinoa is a gluten free grain! Quinoa flakes are a perfect substitute for oatmeal, quinoa flour is easy to cook with, and quinoa can easily stand in the place of rice or couscous.
  2. Quinoa is a complete protein- that means all the amino acids that we need to fill our nutritional needs are present. Can I get an halleluiah?!

This recipe provides a delicious, vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan friendly meal. Not to mention it’s on the healthier side, made up of entirely vegetables and seeds (yes, quinoa is technically a seed).  So, the next time you have a dinner party and don’t know what to cook, I got your back. Throw some sweet potatoes on the oven and some quinoa on the stove and you’re good to go! Your guests will love this seasonal treat.

Happy cooking 🙂

-Sarah

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Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup quinoa (measured while dry)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow or white onion, diced
  • 1 cup raw spinach (or kale), sliced into 1-inch pieces with stems removed*
  • ¼ cup (plus) dried cranberries
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.
  2. Rinse the sweet potatoes, dry, and wrap in aluminum foil. Once the oven has preheated, place the sweet potatoes straight on the wire and bake for 45 minutes- 1 hour, or until fork tender.
  3. While the sweet potatoes bake, prepare the quinoa and veggies. Cook the quinoa in the vegetable broth- bringing the broth to a boil and then immediately covering and reducing to a simmer for 15 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Once hot, add the diced onion and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook until soft, stirring regularly.
  5. Add the spinach and cranberries to the onions and sauté for about 3 minutes, or until soft. If dry, splash a little water in the pan, which will help steam the spinach.
  6.  Add the quinoa to the frying pan and mix together.
  7. Cut the sweet potatoes in half and scoop out the core. Spoon the quinoa mixture onto the sweet potato and serve!*

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Notes and Tips!:

Fresh Vegetable Quiche with Homemade Pie Crust

Now that it’s November it’s officially time for lots of warm, homey foods. One of my family’s favorite warm home-style meals is a vegetarian quiche. I have vivid memories of coming home from play practice after school and smelling a quiche in the oven. Those were great nights, because a warm healthy meal after a long day made for the perfect winter evening.

This delicious recipe is able to be adapted easily to incorporate your favorite vegetables and cheeses. And one of the best thing is this dish easily keeps for several days, so you can easily enjoy the leftovers (if there are leftovers!). Eat up! And Happy cooking!

Pie Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup Crisco
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons water

Crust Directions:

  1. Mix the flour, Crisco, and salt together in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Add the water to the dry ingredient mixture and mix well.
  3. Once the dough has formed in the bowl, sprinkle a clean and dry workspace with flour.
  4. Place the dough ball on the floured workspace and need for one minute- just to ensure everything is well mixed!
  5. Roll the dough into a ball, lightly powder all sides, and place in the center of your work surface.
  6. Sprinkle some flour on your rolling pin and gently roll your dough into a large circle. You want the circle to be big enough to cover the bottom of your pie pan and the sides!
  7. Once large enough, place the rolling pin on one end of the dough and loosely wrap the dough around the pin.
  8. Quickly move the rolling pin over the pie, laying the dough in the pan as you go.
  9. Press the dough into the corners and up the sides.
  10. Use the side of your thumb to press into the dough every ¼ of an inch (this creates a scalloped edge!)
  11. Using a fork, prick the edges and bottom of the crust several times, and then bake at 350 (empty!) for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the quiche ingredients.

Quiche Ingredients:

  • ½ box of frozen spinach, drained
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 8-10 eggs (or 2 cups)
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
  • tomato slices for decoration
  • Dash of Cayenne pepper

Quiche Directions:

  1. While the empty crust is baking, sauce the diced onion with 1 teaspoon olive oil and ¼ cup water until light brown and translucent. Remove from heat.
  2. Using an eggbeater, beat the eggs in a large bowl.
  3. Add the milk, salt, and pepper to the eggs and mix well.
  4. Fold the Swiss cheese into the egg mixture, mixing as well as possible and set aside.
  5. Arrange the sautéed onion in the bottom of the piecrust.
  6. Crumble the drained spinach on top of the onion, spreading as evenly as possible.
  7. Pour the egg mixture over the spinach and mushrooms until almost even with the top of the pie pan.
  8. Gently arrange tomato slices on top of quiche and sprinkle a layer of Cayenne pepper over the top as desired (I always do a pretty thorough sprinkling!)
  9. Bake the quiche at 425 for 10 minutes, then at 350 for 50 minutes. Make sure to set your timer for this! It’s easy to forget!
  10. Slice and serve!

Notes and Tips!:

  • An easy way to make this is to buy two frozen deep dish pie crusts and make two quiches at once- dividing one spinach box among the two.   This is one easy meal to microwave so it makes great leftovers, or is an excellent option for a brunch with friends or a gift!
  • Feel free to play with this recipe, using whatever ingredients are in season! My family loves the classic spinach and cheese combination, however you could also try mushrooms and asparagus, artichoke hearts and feta cheese, or using vegetarian sausage patties for an extra kick!
  • If you like this recipe, check out my Mini Okra Frittata Cups. Want a gluten free version? Try these Red Pepper Quiche Cups!