This delicious quinoa side dish is another product of my desire to “eat my pantry”. I often end up with a little bit of this, a little bit of that and I hate to waste anything. This combination of quinoa with day-old bread, spinach, cheese and bacon has turned into one of my favorite recipes! I love it when that happens! Plus, I love a healthy side dish that doubles as tomorrow’s lunch!
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A great way to use up what’s already in your pantry!
Do you also have 1/4 cup of 10 different things hanging out in the back of your pantry? Turning those bits into new recipes can be so fun! Although, in complete honesty, my back-pantry creations are only good about 50% of the time. But the process of creating something new and different to reduce kitchen waste is always enjoyable to me. And it’s really fun when you come up with something like this amazing quinoa side dish you didn’t even see coming!
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This quinoa side dish becomes the star!
Side dishes are so often ignored. This quinoa recipe really becomes the star of the meal and can be paired with a simple baked chicken. I prefer to make one really good side dish than 2 or 3 just OK dishes. So much easier and so much less time!!! Am I right?
When I was first married, I used to make us 3 course meals every night. What was I thinking? Now dinner is all about time to sit around the table with my family and enjoy a simple and delicious meal. No fanciness to be seen. (Except my 2 year old daughter that insists on a dress and her “fancy” shoes every. single. day.)
Another way to use up what you’ve already got
Another great “use what you got” recipe is my Healthy Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Bake. Because sometimes it’s snowing outside and you realllllly don’t feel like going to the grocery store. Use what you got and reduce your kitchen waste whenever you can! (It’s really oddly satisfying to use an entire box or can of that stuff that sits in the back of the pantry, right?)
Loving this quinoa side dish? Try these other healthy recipes!
Quinoa with Spinach and Bacon
- 1 C uncooked quinoa I like tri-color
- 2 C french bread cut into small cubes
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 1 shallot coursely chopped
- 4 slices bacon cooked, crumbled
- 3 C fresh spinach
- 1/2 C asiago cheese or parmesan
- Preheat oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with foil. Lay bacon on foil and bake for 18-20 minutes, until bacon is crisp. Remove and drain on paper towel lined plate. Crumble and set aside.
- Reduce oven temp to 350°. Place bread cubes on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil and pinch of salt. Place in oven to crisp up. About 8-10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Set aside.
- Place a large skillet over medium heat and melt butter. Add chopped shallot. Sauté until fragrant and translucent. Add bread cubes to skillet and mix with butter and shallot until all is warm and combined (about 3 minutes).
- To the quinoa add: bread mixture, spinach, bacon and cheese over medium heat (reserving a little bit of bacon and cheese for topping). Heat through until spinach is wilted and mixture is hot.
- Salt and pepper to taste. Top with reserved bacon and cheese. Enjoy!