Today I’m writing to you about a culinary triumph and a baking disaster.
Disaster first. Those who follow this blog may recall that I planned to experiment with my gluten-free angel food cake recipe to bring down the carb and calorie count. Well, experiment I did, substituting erythritol for some of the sugar. Erythritol is granular like sugar, has no calories or aftertaste, and is very low on the glycemic index.
So what happened? The erythritol (1) melted and created a messy, black residue on the bottom of the oven that had to be scraped off, (2) sealed the tube section to the rest of the pan so tightly that the spouse had to pry it loose with a knife—good-by pan, and (3) resulted in a very crumbly, nowhere near as delicious, version of the real thing.
The cake did rise and stay that way, but…sigh. Upwards and onwards…
Now the triumph—A tasty, filling, low-cal, vegetarian bake!
This dish is packed with protein via the beans, quinoa, and cheese. As well, the quinoa can help you fill your daily whole grain quota, which is not always easy to do on a gluten-free diet.
This is also a great way to get rid of quinoa leftovers. In fact, it was the cooked red quinoa hanging around in my fridge that got this dish off the ground along with some recipe-surfing on the Internet.
And what’s more, it is flexible.
- Not quite enough quinoa? Not to worry.
- Want to add more beans? Go ahead.
- Prefer tomato paste to pizza sauce? Do your own thing and throw in some basil and oregano.
- Like it hot? Go for it.
But most of all, enjoy!
- 1 cup quinoa, already cooked
- 1½ cups canned or cooked beans, rinsed (I used pinto beans, but kidney or romano beans would also work well.)
- ½ cup Peccorino Romano cheese, grated (This is a sheep cheese but, if you can handle regular milk, parmesan would also do.)
- 1 small can (7.5 oz.) pizza sauce
- 1 small, yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic
- Salt, to taste
- Cooking spray
- Mash beans, leaving small chunks. (I was able to do this in my food processor by pulsing.)
- Mix together beans, quinoa, ¼ cup cheese, pizza sauce, onion, garlic and salt.
- Spray a 9″ x 9″ baking pan with cooking spray.
- Spread mixture in the pan.
- Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup cheese on the top.
- Bake in a 350° F oven for 25-30 minutes or until edges are crispy and cheese is melted.
For Weight Watchers: The total point count for this dish is 21 points. Thus
- 6 pieces = 3.5 per piece
- 8 pieces = 2.75 per piece