TOMATO INGREDIENT STUDY NO. 4:
Prior to booking our family vacation, we scoured the internet to find an incredible place to stay that also had a breathtaking view. When we found exactly what we were looking for, we booked the first opening we could find. It was modern, bright and had a huge kitchen. When one goes on vacation, most of the time, you end up going out to eat to a) allow yourself to relax and take a break, and b) to savor and experience the local fare and culture. Because we were able to accomplish finding such an amazing beach house, and because we have an 18-month old, we decided to eat every meal at home. I really enjoyed focusing my efforts on a little R & R and a bit of cooking. The kitchen was awesome, and filled with fun tools and cookware that I have at home, and I certainly didn't mind the ocean view. If cooking relaxes you like it does me, why not include it in your vacation plans? It allowed us to save money, spend quality time together, and probably gave us a little more time for the beach.
When planning breakfast one morning, I wanted to find a way to use the quinoa I had. We had cooked some the night before, but I wondered if there was an alternate way to use it and not feel like I was eating the same thing as dinner the night before. Lo and behold, I discovered this very easy recipe on Whole Food's website. It uses well rinsed, uncooked quinoa, which forms a moist crust when baked. You basically throw it all together in one dish and the quinoa will settle down at the bottom – super easy. I modified the recipe to include what I had on hand because I didn't want too many leftovers that I couldn't take home. Bite sized sweet peppers, scallions, fresh tomatoes and turkey bacon came together to make a very satisfying and savory dish. There are plenty of variations that this recipe will allow you to do. Try doing what I call a "fridge purge" and see what you come up with. And don't forget the hot sauce.
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
- 6 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes (fresh or sundried)
- 1/2 cup sliced sweet peppers
- 1/4 cup lean turkey bacon
- 1 cup finely shredded Romano or Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch x 8-inch glass or metal baking dish with butter; set aside. Put quinoa into a fine mesh strainer and rinse until cold running water until water runs clear; drain well.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper and quinoa. Stir in tomatoes, sweet peppers and turkey bacon, and pour mixture into prepared dish. Cover tightly with foil then jiggle dish gently from side to side so that quinoa settles on the bottom in an even layer. Bake until just set, about 45 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle top evenly with cheese. Return to oven and bake, uncovered, until golden brown and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes more. Set aside to let cool briefly, then slice and serve.