I am a massive fan of pasta bake. Creamy, cheesy pasta bake. Having IBS and being mildly lactose intolerant doesn’t mean one of my favourite dishes is ruined. As this was intended for work lunches, I wanted it to be lighter and healthier than the original pasta bake.
So… I switched out the pasta for quinoa. This was definitely an experiment. I have cooked with quinoa numerous times and have a good feel about what flavours work best with it. And since tinned tuna has basically become a staple part of my diet, I have incorporated tuna into the dish as well (over the usual BBQ chicken and bacon). I also figured if I was trying to “healthify” my favourite dish to this extent, I should add broccoli as well.
Now to the sauce. I went for more of a buerre blanc style sauce instead a bechamel style sauce which is what the pasta bake I have at home normally consists of. Definitely losing health points here but hey, the flavour needs to come from somewhere.
In conclusion, I only post food that I believe is worth trying out for yourself so if i wasn’t happy with this, I would not have shared. Be brave and see how you go.
Quinoa Tuna Bake (serves 6, or 6 work lunches for 1)
What you’re going to need
1 cup quinoa, cooked to packet instructions
1/2 broccoli, roughly chopped in small pieces
2 tins 75g tuna (I used Greenseas Tuna in Oil but you can use the Springwater one as well)
cheddar cheese, for grating on top
1/3 cup white wine (I use Sauvignon Blanc for cooking but up to you)
150ml cream (I use lactose free)
1-2 tablespoon butter (to taste)
salt and pepper to season
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius
- In a saucepan on a medium heat, add the wine and cook out the alcohol. Add the cream and butter and stir until well combined. Add the nutmeg and any seasoning.
- Add the cooked quinoa, broccoli and tuna to the sauce or vice versa (you will need a big saucepan for this) and mix until all the added ingredients are coated in the sauce.
- *** Add mixture into a large baking dish and distribute evenly. Top with grated cheddar (i’ll leave you to decide how much cheese you want to add).
- Pop in the oven and bake until the cheese has melted and darkened slightly. Serve warm.
*** If you don’t want cheese on top, then you can skip the oven steps. Another option for extra flavour is a homemade chunky breadcrumb to give the dish more texture.