Kitchen Homework, Quinoa Casserole, and My Weekly Menu Plan

This recipe comes to you courtesy of Lauren Slayton of Foodtrainers.

You see, last month, Lauren assigned her readers a little kitchen homework which you can read about here.

And, because I have so much time on my hands a strange desire to do homework, I diligently entered this on to my “To Do” list, in order to hold myself accountable.

Accountability is a good thing 🙂

Actually there were two assignments:

  1. Use a neglected orphaned kitchen appliance.
  2. Cook 1-2 recipes from a cookbook you haven’t used or haven’t used in a while.

Sadly, I never did complete part one of the assignment {To use my poorly neglected bread maker…}

I did, however, complete part 2!

Here’s the book I cooked from…

Before I share the recipe with you, let me give you a little history regarding The Bishop’s School Cookbook, because it holds a special spot on my cookbook shelf.

The book was given to me, over 15 years ago, by my parent’s next door neighbor, “PM”, who helped put the cookbook together for  The Bishop’s School. The original plan was to include nutrition analysis with the recipes, so PM asked me to help out with this, knowing that I had just embarked upon my career as a dietitian.

In the end, the cookbook commitee decided not to include any nutrition information, as I can well imagine, it’s hard enough to write a cookbook, let alone include extras such as nutrition analysis, in it.

No matter for me though, as I received a copy of this very lovely cookbook which includes not only some delicious recipes {Uncooked Fresh Tomato Pasta and John’s California Pizza with goat cheese, artichoke hearts, and sun dried tomatoes are just a couple of fresh and healthy favorites} from PM and her family, but also from some other family friends who lived {still do} down the street from my parents.

The recipe I chose to make for my homework comes courtesy of said neighbor down the street, “SB”,  and is one I made for the first, and only time, up until now, over 8 years ago right after Big Tex was born and we were living in Plano.

I remember making the recipe at the time, and thinking it was a “keeper”.

I honestly can’t imagine why it took me so long to make it again.

Thanks Lauren, for giving me a nudge in the right direction!

Here’s an adaptation of the recipe {the original calls for bulger wheat, which is delicious if you are not on a gluten-free diet, but I substituted quinoa, which is equally delicious, for my gluten-free version.}

Quinoa, Chicken, Spinach and Mushroom Casserole {Adapted from a recipe in The Bishop’s School Cookbook}

Chicken with Quinoa, Spinach, and Mushrooms
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6 servings
  • 2 cups of chicken broth, veggie broth, or water
  • 1 cup quinoa, well rinsed
  • 2 cups cooked chicken {see notes}
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil for sautéing
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups frozen spinach, chopped
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese (or more per taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat broth or water along with quinoa in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat to a simmer, and cook with lid on until all the water is absorbed, approximately 20-25 minutes.
  2. Saute diced chicken in a large skillet with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Remove chicken and set aside. Add a little more oil to the skillet, and add onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes. Stir in the spinach and mushrooms, and cook until the mushrooms just begin to soften, then add in the chopped tomatoes and oregano. Combine the cooked quinoa, chicken, and spinach mushroom mixture, and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Place mixture in a lightly oiled 9 inch by 13 inch casserole. Bake in oven for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with feta cheese and cook 5 to 10 more minutes, or until heated through.
Use precooked rotisserie chicken, grilled chicken, or poached chicken.

This dish can easily be made vegetarian by omitting the chicken, or can be made vegan, by also omitting the feta cheese, and using vegetable broth or water to cook the quinoa. In addition, you could add cooked beans to the casserole in lieu of the chicken to add additional protein.

And, for those of you looking forward to some more healthy dinner inspiration, please check out this weeks SPICY RD WEEKLY MENU PLAN right here. {Some of you may note that the Turkey and Sweet Potato Stew from last weeks menu plan, is on this weeks plan as well.  This is because my family “abandoned” me one night, so I ate left over Quinoa, Chicken, Spinach and Mushroom Casserole for dinner one night, instead of making the Turkey and Sweet Potato Stew, so I’m making it this week instead.}

Do you have an orphan cookbook sitting unloved on your cookbook shelf?  What about a neglected appliance?  Do you have any recipes handed down from neighbors? Do you like eating leftovers??? 

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  1. I love this quinoa casserole and that snap shot of the ingredient is spectacular!!

  2. tasty love Laurens blog and special book

  3. This dish looks just amazing! I am always looking for new ways to cook with quinoa. It is just so versatile. 🙂

  4. Thanks so much Shulie! I hope you make the casserole, and let me know how it turns out 🙂

  5. Thanks Rebecca! I’m sure you have very little time on your hands with two little ones, but you should give Lauren’s homework a try some time 🙂

  6. Kristen-Thank you :-). Yes, quinoa is super versatile, and I love that you can use it for both sweet and savory dishes. Hope,you try this out!

  7. Love that click of Quinoa, EA! And what a wonderful idea to replace quinoa to cook a casserole..

  8. Yay for cooking homework. This recipe looks great. Question- do you like this recipe plug in? Your recipes look so pretty considering something like it. Thanks for the mention. I soaked this weekend and feel sort of proud. Cookbook- still want to break out Healthy Hedonist but reluctant to make more than 1 change a month. I don’t want to get an F again.

    • I agree-1 change per month is more that enough, but I’m so glad you assigned the homework! yes, I really like the Zip recipe plugin, and it’s very easy to use. Looking forward to giving you an A+ on a Healthy Hedonist creation sometime soon 🙂

  9. Anything with quinoa is sure to be a winner! I like that you used the tri-colored quinoa as I think it makes the dish look better than just sticking with 1 color!

  10. I love eating quinoa and your recipe sounds yummy! I’m putting it on my make list 😉

  11. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!I love browsing through school and church cookbooks, although I don’t remember seeing any with such healthy recipes in them 😀 We love all of the ingredients, and although none of us is g-f we prefer quinoa so will stick with your version. Bookmarking. And your kale caesar looks amazing too, although I will stick in anchovy

    • Thanks Kellie 🙂 There are actually quite a lot of healthier recipes in the cookbook which I love. Anchovies??? I almost put them in the Caesar dressing, but in the end I left them out. Go for it!

  12. Great casserole!

    And, yes, I have numerous cookbooks I have never made anything out of, yet they have great-sounding recipes… I think it has something to do with the fact that I don’t like following recipes. I often watch the Food Network or other cooking shows at the gym to get “inspirations,” but I rarely ever follow a recipe… I really should change that…

    • Thanks Andrea! if the “no follow” recipe thing works for you, I say stick with it! I’m probably about 50/50 following/not following, although, I usually have to make little tweeks in most recipes to make them gluten-free 🙂

  13. What fun ‘homework’ looks amazing!!! I love quinoa but I don’t make it nearly enough. I like that it has the chicken in it….a one stop shop! Your cookbook story is nice….it looks like a well used/well loved book. I LOVE left overs…it it wasn’t for them, I would have no lunches!

    • Thanks so much Teri! I love having leftovers for lunch the next day. Since I work out of an office at home, it’s so easy to pull out some yummy leftovers to heat up 🙂

  14. I have several cookbooks that have been sitting on my shelves and feelings neglected. IN fact, I’ve been trying to use them recently, specifically my Alton Brown cookbook that I wanted SO BAD but have only used twice. Yikes.
    Thanks for this wonderful recipe. I’m definitely going to make this one of these days! I need to find some of that multi-colored quinoa.

  15. Gorgeous Quinoa recipe.Flavorful ingredients in there and love the idea of baking it with the extra sharpness of the Feta!!Bookmarked EA :)Can’t wait to try this!

  16. i love the idea of using quinoa in your casserole!! this looks delicious, EA! it’s actually been awhile since i’ve had some quinoa, time for me to whip it out! hope you are having a fabulous week! the sun is out and the weather is gorgeous!

  17. This looks great, EA! I will have to try this for my upcoming book group – I think they’d like it. And, you’ve inspired me to pull out an old cookbook or two!

  18. I definitely have “orphaned” cookbooks on my shelf that I try to pull out every now and then. It’s always fun and I usually end up making at least one recipe out of it which always reminds me of why I bought it in the first place. Your quinoa casserole looks awesome!

  19. Filled with all sorts of good things like spinach, pine nuts and feta, this sounds pretty fabulous.

  20. This is my kinda quinoa!! Delicious!
    Love the picture on top of the cookbook!!

  21. sounds and looks great!

  22. I love anything with quinoa! This sounds really hearty, and would be a perfect dinner for hubby and I:-) I am glad you decided to bring that lovely book off the shelf, sounds wonderful! Sending Hugs, Terra

  23. When do you add the pine nuts?

    • Thanks for your question and for letting me know I had forgotten this important step of the recipe. I LOVE pine nuts 🙂 You can add them at the end of step two, right before you put the casserole in the oven. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as my family and I do!


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