While the name suggests a completely unhealthy meal, this cheeseburger quinoa casserole is quite the opposite.
Have you seen that WHO confirmed processed and red meat cause cancer?! That is not news to me but quite reassuring and a good reminder. Now to make it clear moderation and occasional consumption are OK but on a regular basis – that is where it gets risky. Overall, overconsumption of any animal products is not healthy – The China Study is an easy read about connection between meat and cancer.
I used only 1 lb of meat and 4 oz of cheese in this wonderful sounding like junk food quinoa casserole. In reality, it is very flavourful and healthy. Quinoa cooks in the casserole as well. That is when GIR‘s silicone lids come in handy – you could win 3 of them in a giveaway. All you have to do is to be subscribed to iFOODreal’s newsletter. I also used homemade cream of mushroom soup (would you like a recipe?) but you could buy Amy’s or Pacific brand.
Honestly, this week has been hard in terms of nutrition and my family.
My first struggle was with a hockey team that implemented snacks after each game (3 times a week) and they consisted of doughnuts, timbits, rice krispies, cookies and juice boxes so far. I talked to a manager, coach, association and feel a very big minority in this society. My bottom line is that nutrition of a child is up to each parent’s and let’s not enforce someone else’s believes onto each other when we are getting together to play hockey and not eat every game. I realized how hard it is to change something that has been instilled on this society for decades – junk food is not really considered junk for many people. But still, I made my choice and we all have choices. So far, my son is allowed to take only fruit and he is OK with it. We had many discussions and mainly me and Alex stand as examples – after our workouts we do not eat doughnuts. We have treats but not that often. Gotta live a little too.
Second surprise came out after an intense workout class from an instructor saying “Oatmeal makes you fat. Stop eating it”. When I, thinking it was a joke, asked what should we eat, he replied “I have no breakfast or bacon and eggs”. Um…this is a great reminder to do your own research, talk to certified nutritionists and dieticians, doctors but do not blindly follow advice of fitness professionals about nutrition because many of them do not enough education in this area. Plus with a recent explosion of paleo and gluten free diets whose advocates are quit aggressive in their views, you need to really explore all information out there and decide for yourself.
I remember being told to eat a lot of animal protein to get lean when I was doing Beachbody workouts. Well, after my mom got diagnosed with a tumour on her kidney I WOKE UP. I talked to a doctor, registered dieticians, nutritionists and it was clear to me that overconsumption of animal products is not healthy. Fitness world is hung up on it because it makes them lean and ripped but it doesn’t mean it makes your body healthy from inside.
Don’t be afraid to go with your heart and enjoy this healthy cheeseburger quinoa casserole!Print
Cheeseburger Quinoa Casserole
Quinoa casserole with meat of choice, tomatoes, mustard and cheese. Comfort food made healthy.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 75 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 large bell peppers, chopped
- 1 tsp coconut or avocado oil
- 1 lb ground meat of choice (lean beef, chicken or turkey)
- 1 1/4 cups quinoa, uncooked
- 2 cups any broth, low sodium
- 1 cup strained tomatoes or tomato sauce
- 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1 can organic cream of mushroom soup (like Pacific or Amy’s)
- 1 tbsp yellow mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup (4 oz) shredded Mozzarella/Cheddar cheese, divided
- Cooking spray (I use Misto)
- Preheat large non-stick skillet on medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add onion, garlic and bell peppers; saute until translucent, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and spray 9″ x 13″ baking dish with cooking spray. Return skillet on medium-high heat and add ground meat. Cook for 7 – 10 minutes, breaking into pieces and stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl with cooked vegetables from a previous step. Add remaining ingredients, except 1/2 cup cheese. Stir well and transfer mixture to a prepared baking dish and level with spatula.
- Bake covered for 40 minutes, then sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake uncovered for another 15 minutes. Serve hot.
Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.
Freeze: Assemble, tightly wrap with plastic and then foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and bake as per instructions + 15 minutes.
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