Thursday, April 21, 2011

Twofer: Chilli-baked ricotta with quinoa pilaf

TWOFER  noun /ˈto͞ofər/
1. An item or offer that comprises two items but is sold for the price of one.
2. A case of 24 beers (see 2-4) [Canadian slang]

This bargain blog post is #1 above.

I'd never heard of the term 'twofer' until a year or so ago. I thought it had something to do with gophers, which I'd only ever seen in the movie Caddyshack. I'm alright...! I gather 'twofer' is a fairly recent term anyway, and like most things, popular in North America but spreading its influence worldwide.

So here is a two-for-one deal for you, readers! For a strictly limited time, Ooh, Look... is offering you not ONE, but TWO delicious recipes on the same blog post.  Not only are you increasing your protein intake with an incredible quinoa pilaf, you can fulfil your cheesey cravings with creamy baked ricotta! These recipes are so easy, you can have a meal on the table in no time!! Most of all, your family will thank you!!!

Phew, so many exclamation points, so exhausting. Pass me one of those creamy baked ricottas, thanks!

Quinoa Pilaf
serves 2-4

150g (1 cup) white quinoa
500ml (2 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
1 small brown onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tblsp butter
 2 tblsp pine nuts
2 tblsp flaked almonds
2 tblsp chopped pistachios
3 tblsp dried fruit (like cranberries, apricots, currants)
1/4 cup parsley, shredded
1/4 cup dill, finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
lemon wedges, to serve

1.  Rinse the quinoa and place into a small saucepan with the stock.  Bring the stock to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender and the liquid has evaporated.
2.  Meanwhile, gently cook the onion and garlic in a frypan with the butter until it has softened.  Add the nuts and cook for a few minutes until they are lightly browned. Stir in the dried fruit and set the pan to one side.
3.  When the quinoa is cooked, add it to the nut mixture and fold the herbs through.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with lemon squeezed over.

recipe adapted from Good Weekend (Cath Claringbold)

Chilli-baked Ricotta
makes 4 small servings

400g low fat ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tblsp finely grated lemon rind
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt and pepper

1.  Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
2.  Place the ricotta, chilli, lemon, garlic, salt and pepper into a bowl and mix well to combine.
3.  Press the ricotta mixture into 4 lightly greased 1/2 cup-capacity muffin tins and brush with oil.
4.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until puffed and golden.
5.  Set aside for 2 minutes before turning out and serving.

recipe from Donna Hay

Ingredients for the quinoa - I used dried cranberries and dried blueberries as the fruit

Simple ingredients for the baked ricotta - low-fat ricotta, lemon rind, chilli flakes and garlic. And a muffin tin with at least 4 holes.

The nut and onion mixture and the quinoa with fruit. I placed the fruit on top of the quinoa after the quinoa was cooked, to plump up the fruit a bit.

The baked ricotta is spicy from the chilli, so add more or less chilli flakes according to taste.

The Turkish-inspired quinoa is lovely to look at (see those pistachios!) and even better to eat, most tasty and so good for you.


  1. I'm not gonna lie....all I ever really want in life is an excuse to eat ricotta. And this sounds truly lovely.

  2. yay another great recipe with quinoa (really need to use them up in the pantry)! thanks for the 2 for 1 offer too ;-)

  3. Twofer, never heard of it. Until now. A bit like BOGOF? Lovin' the dark backgrounds, and the look of that ricotta

  4. The ricotta looks amazing. Im a sucker for anything with cheese.
    I've recently discovered quinoa and this recipe looks so tasty. It can be quite bland on its own but with the additions, it would pack a punch :)

  5. Hmm - some insightful background into that Harvard educated writer on 30 Rock called Twofer. Not sure how he classifies as 2 for the price of 1 though. And - more quinoa! Love it!

  6. I think you need to come over and make me lunch! Haha...this looks incredible!

  7. Wow...this looks really amazing! Love all the nuts in the quinoa dish. And the baked ricotta....oh, my. I have never made anything like it and I really have to try it. As long as I serve it with the quinoa it's healthy, right? :). Thanks for the amazing recipes - I'm glad I stumbled on your site.

  8. This looks and sounds delicious! I've never tried quinoa, now I am very tempted to try!

  9. Lol, all I could think of was that infomercial on TV... "You got a door? You got a gym!"
    Looks amazing, and I just so happen to have some ricotta that I need to use. Thanks!

  10. well done quinoa and ricotta two ingredients I love to cook !!!pierre

  11. Fabulous, healthy and delicious - can't ask much more from a meal than that, can you?

  12. Haha, I was waiting for you to offer me a set of steak-knives as well!

    Happy Easter to you and Tabitha =)

  13. So nice, I love this recipe. It looks and tastes delicious!