I know I’ve talked to you guys before about how much I suck at portion control. It’s boring, it’s no fun, it feels like your mom telling you to finish your vegetables before you can have dessert. Blegh. Since this is something I struggle with, it was super interesting to find this photo spread detailing what 200 calories of different foods look like on the same big white plate. Although I must admit that the whole reason I clicked on it in the first place was that I thought it was showing what two thousand calories of various food looked like, and I was like no WAY are 24 apple slices 2000 calories! And they’re not, obviously. Heh.
For me, the biggest bummer of this list was seeing the cheese and peanut butter entries. I know those are calorie-dense foods (and, consequently, two of my favorite foods to snack on), but MAN those look like small amounts of cheese and peanut butter to be 200 calories. Sigh. I guess it’s a good reminder — portion control is always important!
And that’s one of the reasons this dinner is so great — you can make it in individual ramekins for automatic portion control. Also it’s vegetarian, reasonably healthy, and completely tasty. I even decreased the olive oil from the original recipe to lighten it up even more. Still delicious!
PIZZA QUINOA BAKE (slightly adapted from Food Doodles)
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well and drained
1 6oz can tomato paste
3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced, grated or pressed
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp basil
1 tbsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1. Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes while assembling other ingredients.
2. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray 4 1-cup ramekins with cooking spray. Alternatively, you could prepare in a 2-quart casserole dish.
3. In small bowl, combine tomato paste, garlic, onion, water, and olive oil. Mix well. Add all seasonings (oregano through salt and pepper). Mix well, then add quinoa. Once mixture is completely mixed, taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly. Divide quinoa mixture evenly among ramekins and sprinkle with cheese.
4. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Yum! I loved how this felt like an ooey-gooey-cheesy casserole, even though it’s actually pretty healthy. I will say that it would probably be extra good with some mozzarella cheese mixed into the quinoa mixture before baking, but you know. Use your discretion 🙂