Italian Casserole

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I really look forward to Fiesta Friday every week! Don’t you?! I love getting to celebrate with you and enjoy all the wonderful things you all bring!

Yay for Fiesta Friday! And yay for Angie and this week’s co-hosts (Selma from Selma’s Table and Jhuls from The Not So Creative Cook) who make this party happen each week!

So, what am I bringing to the party? Well I hope this isn’t too disappointing to all my fellow sweet toothers (a new word I made up πŸ˜‰ ), but I am actually not bringing a dessert this week! I know, I am shocked too! So unlike me! In fact, it almost seems wrong somehow. πŸ™‚

That said, I think you all will be pleasantly surprised with how delicious this gluten free, low-glycemic Italian casserole is! Dig in, and if you are like me, you will have to come back for seconds!

It was my first time at making a homemade red sauce. It was quite fun actually. I just kept experimenting with it…putting in a little bit of this and a lot a bit of that. My hubby and I both absolutely loved it! Honestly, I am already thinking about how I could use this sauce next! “More please, more!” is what my tummy is saying. πŸ˜€

I was so excited to use the basil off of my basil plant for the first time! So fun!

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I mixed fresh basil and Parmesan cheese in with the quinoa flour to make the crust.

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Here is the dough, the first layer of the casserole, all spread out evenly.

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This is the homemade sauce I made…sweet with a spicy kick to it.

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Layered on top of the crust, I put chicken and then Parmesan cheese.

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And then to complete the dish, homemade sauce and more Parmesan cheese.

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Italian Casserole

*Created by Lori at Creating Beauty in the Kitchen

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  • 3 cups quinoa flour
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 really large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 5 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • Lots of fresh basil, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • Black pepper
  • 5 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

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  • In a large saucepan, combine the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, coconut milk, basil, honey, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Let cook on medium heat.
  • Meanwhile, in a small skillet, saute the onions and garlic with some olive oil. When they are finished, add them into your red sauce and let it continue to cook. If medium starts to get too high, then turn the temperature down some.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the flour with the softened butter. Mix until it forms clumps. Add in the Parmesan cheese, along with some chopped up basil. Slowly add in the cup of water. At this point, I just started using my hands to mix it well and make it into a nice dough texture.
  • Grease a 9 x 12 baking dish and spread the dough out in it.
  • Put it in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
  • As your sauce and crust are cooking, cut the chicken into small chunks. Next, cook them in a skillet until cooked through and slightly browned.
  • When the crust is ready, take it out of the oven and layer the chicken over it.
  • Take your shredded cheese and sprinkle it over the chicken.
  • Add the sauce (by this point my sauce had cooked for more than an hour, letting all the flavors soak in.
  • Sprinkle more shredded Parmesan cheese over the top.
  • Put it back in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes.

Okay, now to the really impressive part….I cleaned as I went! πŸ™‚ The kitchen (including the floor) is just as clean as before I cooked this meal….woohoo! πŸ˜€

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Creamy Tomato & Egg Caserole

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I am always looking for new creative things to make for breakfast. To be honest though, sometimes I go into the kitchen just to make something I have already tried, but then something happens and I end up with a brand new recipe. πŸ˜€ This actually happens quite often.Β  The other day when I was beginning to cook a meal I said to my hubby, “I’m not sure what I am making yet.” And he said,”And how is that different than normal?” That made me laugh! He knows me so well! He knows I love to create new things and is a great encourager of me!

The sauce for this meal made it!Β  The coconut milk added just the right creaminess to it! It was so good and full of so much flavor! Love, Love, Loved it!

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Creamy Tomato & Egg Casserole

*Created by Lori at Creating Beauty in the Kitchen

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  • 4-5 eggs
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk
  • Red onion
  • Fresh Basil
  • 1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa flour
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/4 cup water

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  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the flour with the softened butter. Mix until it forms clumps. Slowly add in the 1/4 cup of water. At this point, I just started using my hands to mix it well and make it into a nice dough texture.
  • In a 9 x 9 or 8 x 8 baking dish, spread out the dough.
  • Put it in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Dice the onions, cut up the basil,Β  and press the garlic.
  • Meanwhile, put the olive oil, onions, and garlic into a large skillet and saute. After a little while, add in the basil, diced tomatoes, black pepper, and coconut milk. Put on medium heat, let cook and stir occasionally.
  • After the crust has finished baking, pour the creamy tomato mixture over it.
  • Your eggs are the final layer. I used 4 or 5 (can’t remember). Make sure not to crack the yoke when doing this.
  • Put it back in the oven and let bake for 20-25 minutes (whenever your eggs are done.)
  • Add more fresh basil to the top and you are ready to eat!

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Chicken Fajita Casserole

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I am continuing to have fun experimenting around with quinoa flour. I came up with this particular recipe for our small group last night, andΒ  I didn’t get to taste it ahead of time, so imagine my relief when everyone loved it! I brought it thinking I would get to bring home lots of leftovers…ya, not so much. πŸ™‚ I kept seeing everyone (including myself) go back for seconds. πŸ™‚ It did my heart good!

This time instead of making the crust plain, I added some fresh spices into it that went well with the dish that I was hoping to create.

This is definitely a keeper around our house! So full of taste, and so many things in it that are good for you! Sometimes I can’t believe I ever thought that low-glycemic and/or gluten-free food was yucky tasting! No way! I have always loved food, but now I love it even more!

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Chicken Fajita Casserole

  • Servings: 8-12 People
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*Created by Lori at Creating Beauty in the Kitchen

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  • 3 cups quinoa flour
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 fresh cloves garlic, minced
  • Lots of fresh cilantro πŸ™‚
  • 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Fajita Seasoning (I used Ortega)
  • 16 ounces of cream cheese
  • 3 15 ounce cans of black beans
  • 6 avocados
  • About 9 cherry tomatoes, fourthed
  • 1-2 tsp honey
  • 1 cup Monterrey Jack Cheese
  • 2 1/2 Mexican onions
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 miniature limes (or 1 normal size one)

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  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mince the garlic and chop the cilantro.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the flour with the softened butter. Mix until it forms clumps. Add in 2 of the minced cloves of garlic, along with some chopped up cilantro. Slowly add in the 3/4 cup of water. At this point, I just started using my hands to mix it well and make it into a nice dough texture.
  • In a 9 x 12 baking dish, spread out the dough.
  • Put it in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, chop up the chicken and Mexican onions, and cook them on high in a large skillet with a tbsp of olive oil.
  • When mostly cooked, add in fajita seasoning. When finished cooking, set aside until the dough has cooked for its 20 minutes.
  • When the dough is ready, layer your chicken over it in the dish. (Leave the stove on 350 degrees, because you are going to use it again in just a minute.)
  • Next, layer the cream cheese over the chicken as best you can. Make sure it is flat and not super thick in some areas and super thin in others.
  • After rinsing and draining the black beans, pour them over the cream cheese.
  • Cook in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • While this is cooking, now it is time to make the guacamole.Prepare by chopping up lots of cilantro (to your liking…I enjoy lots!), mincing the final 2 cloves of garlic, and cutting up the tomatoes. Set aside.
  • Then you will need to slice open all six of the avocados and scoop them out into a large bowl. When you have done this, you want to mash it up.
  • Cut your limes and squeeze the juice over the avocado. You might want to do a little juice at a time and taste test to make sure it is not too strong.
  • Add in the garlic, cilantro, and tomatoes, mixing well.
  • I have never done this before, but I also added about a tsp of honey and it added a fun flavor to the entire dish.
  • When the timer goes off and the food is finished in the oven, layer the top of the dish with the guacamole.
  • Finally, sprinkle Monterrey Jack Cheese over the top.

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Black Bean Casserole

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I have been excited to try out my quinoa flour that I got about a month ago. I’m not sure why I haven’t used it until now, or why I was finally determined to try it out….especially on a night where it was getting late and we really needed a quick dinner. Okay, so this was quick to prepare, but not so quick to cook. πŸ™‚

For this recipe, I just decided to use some of my favorite ingredients, and we really enjoyed it.

Here is a picture of the quinoa flour made into dough:

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We really liked the taste of it, and think it is a great alternative for casseroles!

Black Bean Casserole

  • Servings: About 4 people
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*Created by Lori at Creating Beauty in the Kitchen

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  • 8 ounces of cream cheese
  • 14.5 ounce can dice tomatoes
  • 15 ounce can black beans
  • A handful of fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/4 quinoa flour
  • 1/3 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup water

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  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the flour with the softened butter. Mix it until it forms clumps.
  • Slowly add in the water and continue to mix until it becomes dough-like. You may not need the full cup of water, so that is why you need to do it slowly.
  • Spread the dough out in an 8 x 8 baking dish.
  • You can leave the cilantro leaves whole or cut them into small pieces.
  • Next, pour in the can of diced tomatoes. I sprinkled the tsp of cayenne over them, as well as half of my cilantro leaves.
  • For the next layer, add the cream cheese, spreading it around as best you can.
  • Drain and rinse the black beans, then put them in the dish, as the final layer.
  • Add the rest of your cilantro leaves to the top.
  • Bake for 45 minutes.

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