Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Casserole

Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Casserole - WendyPolisi.com
It goes without saying that the last (almost) six weeks have been chaotic for our family. I’m not sure anything can prepare you for the sleep deprivation and fatigue that comes along with the blessing of a new baby.

Even having done it twice before.

It’s kinda like child birth. The memory of how hard it was fades and all that is left is how beautiful it was. I knew I was going to be tired, but I’d forgotten just how tired.

For the record, I’m not complaining. I know that someday in the future I will again be able to form a coherent sentence, and that the dark circles under my eyes will fade. I’ll stop putting the ice cream in the pantry and trash bags in the freezer. (True story.) When my youngest son asks me what 23 + 9 is, his question won’t always be met with a blank stare followed by his brother answering before I can even digest what it is that he is asking me.

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It’s temporary and the flame is most definitely worth the candle.

I am still enjoying every single precious second. Even when those seconds happen to take place at 3 am. And 4 am. And 5 am. (Baby girl did not get the good-sleep-at-an-early-age-gene.)

The boys have adapted well too, though one thing I hadn’t fully considered is how the demands of a baby were going to impact them. I think when Christian came along it wasn’t such a big deal because Alex was still a baby himself. I vaguely remember Alex pouting with me for a couple of months. (Now Christian pouts with Alex because Alex is obsessed with his sister and C wants his favorite playmate back!)

It’s not all bad and in fact in some ways I think its good for them. They are learning to take care of themselves in ways that they should have years ago. I’ve established a “snack cabinet” in the house filled with things they don’t have to ask if it is OK to eat so that they never have to wait for me to finish nursing to get them something. (I’d done this before and for some idiotic unknown reason didn’t keep up with it.) Their daily around the house “to do lists” have been re-instituted and (strangely) met with great enthusiasm.

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Seeing the impact of a chronically exhausted mom & dad had on the boys has also led to some new decisions.

Our family is location independent and we had planned to spend the first few months in the Colorado mountains, but after a couple of weeks it was clear that it wasn’t the best decision for right now. Skye’s been battling a little congestion and the weather was crazy cold. Who takes their newborn out in this?
from-the-deck

So, in a move that left me more than a little exhausted, we decided to ditch the cold weather and head to a warmer climate where Skye and I wouldn’t feel so housebound and the boys could enjoy letting off a little steam via the pool without having to wait for Mom and Dad to have the energy to actually take them somewhere.

So far it’s working out great, though we had a bit of a scare after we got here. More on that later – I’ve rambled enough for one day and it is time to talk food.

Today’s offering is another casserole. This one is so yummy and is so easy to put together that I managed to make it and get the kitchen clean all in a single cat-nap. Score!

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Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Casserole
Ingredients
  • 2 large eggs (optional)
  • 1 ¼ cup cottage cheese OR silken tofu
  • ¾ cup (vegan) sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ⅛ – ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped fine
  • 6 ounces chopped baby spinach
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14.5 ounces water packed artichokes, chopped
  • 4 cups cooked quinoa
  • ⅓ cup Gruyere cheese or Daiya Harvarti
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with olive oil.
  2. In a blender, mix together eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, mustard, cayenne, salt and pepper.
  3. Spray a skillet with olive oil. Add onion and cook for 8 minutes. Add garlic and spinach and cook until spinach is wilted. Add artichokes and quinoa and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add to the cottage cheese/tofu mixture. Stir well and transfer to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese and cover with foil.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 30 minutes longer. Serve warm.
Notes
Servings 6, Calories 279, Fat 6.9g, Carbohydrates 32.8g, Protein 20.3g, Cholesterol 74mg, Sodium 456mg, Fiber 5g, Sugars 2.2g

 

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