Quinoa Layered Cheezy Pizza Sandwich Bars

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Though I didn’t have much success with combining rice with pasta sauce, quinoa is so absolutely awesome! I was really inspired after seeing the quinoa pizza bites from Chocolate Covered Katie, and wanted to come up with something like that, but got so lazy that I made them into bars instead.

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I have to say, this is probably one of the ONLY quinoa recipes which I absolutely love the taste of quinoa. I always thought there was a funny taste to cooked quinoa, that just didn’t taste the same as rice or other grains, but for some reason, this came out perfect and covered up that taste in quinoa I wasn’t sure about!

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It’s interesting that stacking this kind of almost reminded me of making lasagna, except this had a lot less layers. I even used the same bread pan (my go-to pan for things of this size). You can use other pans if you wish but this one was just the perfect size. If you use a bigger one, you may want to only fill half of it.

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Remember, please try and use Rao’s Arrabbiata if you can. The quality is supreme and IMO, nothing can even compare. If you can’t get access to it, try another pasta sauce that doesn’t have a lot of added sugar. I find that those don’t seem to taste as good. Or, you can even follow some of the pasta sauce recipes on this site and make your own!

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For the cheese, I really love combining the new Trader Joe’s shredded mozzarella cheese with Daiya, because I find that Trader Joe’s melts really well (it’s not the soy one), while Daiya keeps the colour, but both has really unique and awesome tastes, so I like adding both. For you, just use any vegan cheese that you love and it should work out just fine.

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Quinoa Layered Cheezy Pizza Sandwich Bars

Quinoa
1 1/2 cup white quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
2 Roma tomatoes
1 tablespoon white cooking wine
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Other Ingredients
1 tablespoon extra light olive oil
1 small yellow onion (or 1/2 medium)
2 cloves garlic
A small pinch Himalayan/sea salt
1/2 cup Rao’s Arrabbiata
2 tablespoons golden flaxseed meal
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon salt
A few sprinkles ground pepper
1/2 cup vegan mozzarella cheese (I used a combination of Trader Joe’s soy free mozzarella shreds & Daiya)

Topping
1/4 cup Rao’s Arrabbiata

Quinoa: Add the Roma tomatoes and 1 1/2 cups water in a blender and blend on high speed until it becomes a somewhat thick liquid without any lumps.

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Add the liquid to the white quinoa in a small saucepan and stir it around.

Turn the heat on high and bring it to a boil, which should take about 7 minutes, then give it a stir and turn the heat to medium low (3) and simmer for a total of 22 minutes or so, be sure to stir it around every 5-7 minutes so the tomato part of the liquid doesn’t clump together.

Onions and Garlic: Finely dice an onion and garlic into very small pieces. It should be smaller than the average diced onion. Put it in the frying pan with a tablespoon of extra light olive oil and a small pinch of salt.

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Turn the heat to medium high (5-6) and cook the onions for a total of 20 minutes, stirring constantly so the onions don’t burn.

Assembling: Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C).

Once the onions are cooked, turn off the heat and wait for the quinoa if it’s not done yet. Once done, combine the quinoa in the frying pan with the onions, then add the Rao’s Arrabbiata sauce, flaxseed meal, cornstarch, oregano, salt and pepper.

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Stir and mix until everything is very even.

Spray a bread pan (preferred) with non-stick cooking oil to coat the entire surface, then spoon half of the quinoa mixture on the bottom. Press it down firmly and even out the top with your fingers.

Sprinkle the 1/2 cup of vegan mozzarella cheese on top of the first half.

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Then, spoon the remaining quinoa mixture on top and once again, press down firmly with your fingers and even out the top. It’s kind of like a sandwich (the quinoa) with vegan cheese as the middle.

Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes.

Let it cool for a few minutes, then cut into bars. Drizzle some extra Rao’s Arrabbiata sauce if desired.

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Quinoa Layered Cheezy Pizza Sandwich Bars
Serves: 4
 

Ingredients
Quinoa
  • 1½ cup white quinoa
  • 1½ cups water
  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon white cooking wine
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Other Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon extra light olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion (or ½ medium)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • A small pinch Himalayan/sea salt
  • ½ cup Rao’s Arrabbiata
  • 2 tablespoons golden flaxseed meal
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • A few sprinkles ground pepper
  • ½ cup vegan mozzarella cheese (I used a combination of Trader Joe’s soy free mozzarella shreds & Daiya)
Topping
  • ¼ cup Rao’s Arrabbiata

Instructions
  1. Quinoa: Add the Roma tomatoes and 1½ cups water in a blender and blend on high speed until it becomes a somewhat thick liquid without any lumps.
  2. Add the liquid to the white quinoa in a small saucepan and stir it around.
  3. Turn the heat on high and bring it to a boil, which should take about 7 minutes, then give it a stir and turn the heat to medium low (3) and simmer for a total of 22 minutes or so, be sure to stir it around every 5-7 minutes so the tomato part of the liquid doesn’t clump together.
  4. Onions and Garlic: Finely dice an onion and garlic into very small pieces. It should be smaller than the average diced onion. Put it in the frying pan with a tablespoon of extra light olive oil and a small pinch of salt.
  5. Turn the heat to medium high (5-6) and cook the onions for a total of 20 minutes, stirring constantly so the onions don’t burn.
  6. Assembling: Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C).
  7. Once the onions are cooked, turn off the heat and wait for the quinoa if it’s not done yet. Once done, combine the quinoa in the frying pan with the onions, then add the Rao’s Arrabbiata sauce, flaxseed meal, cornstarch, oregano, salt and pepper.
  8. Stir and mix until everything is very even.
  9. Spray a bread pan (preferred) with non-stick cooking oil to coat the entire surface, then spoon half of the quinoa mixture on the bottom. Press it down firmly and even out the top with your fingers.
  10. Sprinkle the ½ cup of vegan mozzarella cheese on top of the first half.
  11. Then, spoon the remaining quinoa mixture on top and once again, press down firmly with your fingers and even out the top. It’s kind of like a sandwich (the quinoa) with vegan cheese as the middle.
  12. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes.
  13. Let it cool for a few minutes, then cut into bars. Drizzle some extra Rao’s Arrabbiata sauce if desired.


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