Wednesday, December 11, 2013

WIAW: Cheesy Cajun Quinoa Bake

Hello!  Happy Wednesday to you all :)
Why has nobody told me how difficult it is to get a good, clear picture of a lit Christmas tree?  Hmm, well above is as good as it's gonna get, I suppose.
We are all decorated for to get started on gifts-lol.  Yep, only 13 more shopping/crafting days left!  Eek!!!

Peas and Crayons

Breakfast: Omelet & Toast

This morning I put together an omelet that consisted of one whole egg, thinned out with 1 tbsp of almond milk.  Once that cooked a bit, I added a sprinkle of mozzarella, 1/4 of an avocado and 2 slices of deli turkey; then I folded the egg over the filling.  On the side I had a piece of wheat toast with strawberry jam...and coffee, of course.

 A.M. Snack: Yogurt

Discount yogurt!!  There was a bunch of mark downs on yogurt this week, so I stocked up.  This was not my favorite.  It was too tangy and not enough strawberry flavor.
But you can't beat yogurt at that price!

Lunch: Frozen Meal...Jazzed Up

For lunch, I grabbed some frozen meals by Kashi.  They were pretty good.  I added 1 cup of cooked, frozen spinach, fresh avocado and cilantro and that really jazzed it up.

 P.M. Snack: Pear

I've had a couple of really good pears lately!  I am very much looking forward to our annual office Christmas gift of Harry & David pears...they are the best!!  Hopefully those happen again this year.  But, for now, just grocery store Bartlett pears will be consumed.

P.M. Snack #2: Chips

After work, I popped into Aldi to get paper towels and grabbed an impulse buy of veggie chips.  I snacked on a handful before heading out to a boot camp workout.

Dinner: Cheesy Cajun Quinoa Bake

For dinner, I made a quick and comforting casserole thingy.  It was pretty healthy too!

I saw these bags of 90 second quinoa at Target and I was sold!

For this casserole I took the idea of my skinny alfredo and the delicious heartiness of quinoa and mashed them together for a meal I will definitely make over and over again.

Cheesy Cajun Quinoa Bake
serves 4

olive oil
Cajun seasoning, salt & pepper
1 1/2 cup shrimp, shelled & deveined (and chopped in bite sized pieces)
1 cup chopped smoked turkey sausage
1/4 onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
splash of white wine or chicken broth for de-glazing of the pan
1-2 cups chopped fresh Brussels sprouts
2 bags of microwavable quinoa (or 2 cups cooked quinoa)
"faux-fredo" sauce (recipe below)
1/2 cup shredded cheese

Season shrimp with cajun seasoning, salt & pepper.
Coat a large skillet with olive oil, saute shrimp on medium heat until pink.  Remove from pan and add the garlic, onion, green pepper and sausage.  Cook until the onions are tender (about 5 minutes).  Pour in a splash of white wine or broth to deglaze the pan and cook for another 2 minutes.
Remove everything from the pan, add a little more olive oil and the brussels sprouts.  Saute for about 3 minutes, then cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until tender.
Microwave quinoa & prepare sauce.

"Faux-fredo" Sauce
makes 1 1/2 cups of sauce

1 1/2 tbsp light butter spread
1/4 cup flour
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 wedges Laughing Cow Swiss Lite cheese
2 oz goat cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
cajun seasoning, salt & pepper

Heat a small skillet to low-medium and add butter and garlic.  Once the butter has melted, add in flour and whisk.  Pour the chicken broth in and whisk some more.  Let this cook for 2 minutes or so and then add the cheeses and seasonings and cook for another 2 minutes.  The sauce should thicken upon standing.  I didn't let it sit for too long, though, before I used it for this recipe.

Mix everything together in a bowl (except shredded cheese), spray a small dish (I used 8x8) with non-stick spray and spread the mixture into the pan.  Top with cheese & bake for 25 minutes at 400F degrees.

This is also very good without baking it, but firms up a bit when baking, making it more like a casserole.

I hope you try it!!!

 After dinner, I had a serving of mint chocolate chip-yum!!!

I hope everyone has a fantastic rest of the week!  See ya on the flip side!


Shaheen said...

Wow the tree looks awesome, love the bauble colours.

Happy Christmas from Wales, U.K - blog hopping from WIAW.

Unknown said...

Oh wow, that cajun quinoa looks fabulous!!

Renee-The Hungry Monster said...

Thank you Shaheen & Jennifer!