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Mushroom Marsala Quinoa Bake

Posted Sep 08 2011 8:00am

Back when I was an omnivore, I was still quite picky about what meat I would eat. However, one of my favorites was Chicken Marsala. I love the savory and sweet wine paired with mushrooms and salty pancetta. I've made quite a few mushroom-marsala dishes, hoping to capture the best of Chicken Marsala, but it never was quite the same. I struggled to find a protein for the dish, tofu was too soft, and I'm not a fan of faux meat products. I did some brainstorming and decided to try quinoa. I love how quinoa is so high in protein, but also resembles a starch. The end result was perfect, a bowl full of savory, sweet, salty and delicious flavors!

Mushroom Marsala Quinoa Bake

2 c. quinoa4 c. vegetable stock1 tbsp. EVOO16 oz. mushrooms, any variety or mixed1 small yellow onion, finely diced2 garlic cloves, finely minced1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves1/2 c. dry marsala winesalt and pepper1/2 c. shredded Gruyere cheese
Place quinoa in a fine mesh colander, rinse under cold water for a minute, until water runs clear.In a stock pot, bring vegetable stock to a simmer, add quinoa, turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Wipe mushrooms to remove dirt, quarter and place in a food processor fitted with the blade.Pulse until mushrooms are minced (might have to do this in batches), or mince by hand.Heat a skillet over medium, add EVOO, mushrooms, onions and garlic.Saute' for 10 minutes, until mushrooms have released moisture and vegetables have begun to caramelize. Add thyme, marsala, salt and pepper. Cook until marsala has reduced by half, remove pan from heat. Uncover quinoa, turn heat off. Fluff with a fork.Spoon mushroom mixture into quinoa, add half the Gruyere, mix well.Pour quinoa into a greased casserole dish, top with remaining cheese.Place under a broiler on low for 3-5 minutes, until cheese is melted and golden.Remove from the broiler and serve. 
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