Easy Saturday Lunch – Zucchini and Quinoa Bake

It was a glorious spring day in Melbourne. Perfect time to have long lunch outside. Nothing complicated, grated zucchini and carrots with fried bacon, onions and red capsicum, baked with quinoa and eggs, served with salad.

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This is free range recipe, or just an idea for an easy bake with flexible quantities of ingredients to suit personal tastes and number of servings.

List of ingredients used:

  • zucchini
  • onion
  • smoked bacon rashers (I used smoked speck)
  • red capsicum
  • carrot
  • parsley
  • white quinoa I used 2 Table spoons)
  • grated parmesan
  • garlic and red chili peppers paste
  • tomato
  • grated mozzarella cheese for the topping
  • salt, pepper
  • olive oil
  • unsalted butter and polenta for baking dish

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Preparation:

  • wash and drain quinoa
  • lightly fry smoked speck with onion and red capsicum, put aside
  • grate zucchini and carrot, chop parsley
  • butter baking dish and sprinkle polenta on top
  • lightly beat eggs
  • add fried ingredients, parsley, zucchini and carrots, parmesan, garlic paste and quinoa
  • add salt and pepper and mix everything together

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  • spoon into the baking dish or tray, level the mixture
  • slice tomato and put on top
  • add mozzarella cheese

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  • bake in 160C fan forced oven until golden brown and the middle of the bake is firm to touch
  • let it rest for 10 min and make salad of your choice

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We had our zucchini bake served with “what we have in the fridge” no dressing salad. We had lovely time. Backyard had all the beautiful spring colours. Camellias, rhododendron and cyclamens are still in full bloom and look gorgeous. I learned from my neighbour to plant cyclamens in the ground after their time indoors. They do well in our garden, and every spring they delight with their gentle colours. They are my favourite flowers and I could not resist to buy new pot now and again.

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It was the first time I used quinoa in a bake without precooking. Quinoa was fully cooked and gave the bake full of vegetables and only 3 eggs, enough structure to be kept together. It was a juicy, light bake without dominant egg taste. I did not even noticed that grain was a part of the mixture. Everything blended, both tastes and textures.

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The dish felt light, but was surprisingly filling. We finished our lunch with apple, strawberry and blueberry salad. I made our new favourite topping for fruit salad – vanilla cream mixed with raspberry jam made with chia seeds. This jam has very little sugar and it’s tartness gives amazing fresh flavour to vanilla cream.

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I like to use extra berry sauce on my vanilla raspberry cream. It’s late evening now, when I am writing this post, and I am happy to say that we missed dinner today. Who needs dinner after nice lunch!

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