The Dude Diet: Cheeseburger Quinoa Bake (The #DudeDietBook is OUT!)

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dude-diet-cheeseburger-quinoa-bakeHAPPY FUCKING DD DAY, MY FAVORITE INTERNET PEOPLE!!!

I’m allowed to abuse caps, expletives, and punctuation today, right?!!!

I can’t believe my book baby is finally out in the wild!! It feels crazy! It is crazy?

Not gonna lie, my brain is pretty mushy right now. I had planned to write something super profound about The Dude Diet in this post, but that’s clearly not going to happen. There’s been a lot of travel, long days, and excitement recently, and given that I haven’t been doing my best sleeping, I’m 100% a hot mess of emotions today. I couldn’t articulate my feelings on being a published author if I tried, so I won’t. Instead, I’m just going to say one quick thing before we talk about my favorite Dude Diet recipes and Cheeseburger Quinoa Bake, and that is…

Thank you.

dude-diet-cheeseburger-quinoa-bake-2Of all the emotions I’m experiencing at the moment, gratitude is hands down the strongest, and if you’re reading this post, I’m grateful to/for you in some way, shape, or form. To the Domesticate ME! regulars, thank you for supporting your crazy blog lady throughout the book process. To my DD recipe testers, thank you for being such awesome guinea pigs and devoting your time and resources to help ensure the dankness of The Dude Diet‘s recipes. To all that contributed to the book (there are far too many of you to name), thank you for your creativity, patience, and willingness to believe in The Dude Diet philosophy. To my friends (both real and virtual) and family, thank you for your wisdom, support, and the badass grassroots PR. And last but not least, to Logan (reading this on the subway in 3 months), you’re famous!! Thank you for being the greatest brand ambassador and roommate of all time. I love EVERYONE!

dude-diet-cheeseburger-quinoa-bake-3Moving on!

Since many of you may have gotten your books today (AHHHH!!!), I wanted to spill my top picks for those seeking recommendations re: what to cook first. They are…

Ultimate Breakfast Quesadilla (page 38)
Magic Faux-tisserie Chicken (page 103)
Trashed Up Turkey Burgers (page 99)
Chopped Chicken Club Salad with Honey-Mustard Dressing (page 187)
Shrimp Pad Thai (page 209)
Pineapple Refresher (page 291)
Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting (page 298)

For those interested in the Dude’s faves, his include…

Dude Diet Lasagna (page 92)
Killer Cuban Sandwiches (page 89)
Buffalo Chicken Fingers with Yogurt Ranch (page 108)
Steak Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Goat Cheese (page 181)
Penne with Spinach Pesto (page 260)
Sausage and Peppers Skillet (page 267)
Pumpkin-Banana Bread (page 301)

dude-diet-cheeseburger-quinoa-bake-4And for the peeps who don’t have the book (yet?), I thought it would be fitting to share my #1 favorite recipe, which is this Cheeseburger Quinoa Bake. I know a quinoa bake is sort of predictable from yours truly, but quinoa bakes are the best, and cheeseburgers are the best, and this also happens to be Logan’s ride-or-die book recipe too, so…WHATEVA. I hope you love it as much as we do.

(FYI, one tester said the flavors in this bake were like a McDonald’s cheeseburger but better. I consider this extremely high praise.)

In case you’re curious, this bake reheats like a dream, so those cooking for 1 or 2 should be pumped for leftovers. The gluten-free crowd can omit the panko, and red meat haters should feel free to sub ground chicken or 93% lean ground turkey for beef. And should you happen to make this bake on a No-Calorie Sunday, you may wish to add some crispy bacon into the filling or sprinkle some on top. Just throwing that out there…

dude-diet-cheeseburger-quinoa-bake-5More updates to come soon on where you can find me on the internets and TV, in print, and in real life over the coming weeks, plus lots of surprises and giveaways! In the meantime, hashtag #dudedietbook on social media to show me your books and creations so I can see, and like, and repost, and shower you with thanks and compliments!!!


Cheeseburger Quinoa Bake: (Serves 4-6)

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1½ cups low-sodium beef broth (Low-sodium chicken broth or water will also work.)
1/3 cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons sesame seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika, divided
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound 90% lean ground beef
1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
¾ teaspoon coarse black pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
1¼ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
For serving: (optional)
1 cup chopped hearts of romaine or iceberg lettuce
½ cup finely chopped bread-and-butter pickles

Preparing your Cheeseburger Quinoa Bake:

-Combine the quinoa and beef broth in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, cover the saucepan with a lid, and cook for 14 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Let the quinoa rest, covered, for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

dude-diet-cheeseburger-quinoa-bake-step-4-Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

-In a small bowl, combine the Panko, sesame seeds and ½ teaspoon of the smoked paprika. Set aside.

dude-diet-cheeseburger-quinoa-bake-step-5-Heat the olive oil in a large, 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the onion and garlic, and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent.

dude-diet-cheeseburger-quinoa-bake-step-1-Add the beef, salt, pepper, and remaining ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika to the skillet. Cook for about 7 minutes, stirring and breaking up the meat into small pieces with a spatula, until no longer pink.

dude-diet-cheeseburger-quinoa-bake-step-2-Stir in the tomato paste, mustard and Worcestershire and cook for 3 more minutes, then stir in the diced tomatoes.

dude-diet-cheeseburger-quinoa-bake-step-6-Turn off the heat and fold in the cooked quinoa and ½ cup of the cheese. Smooth the top of the filling with a spatula. Add the remaining cheese in an even layer and sprinkle with the panko mix.

dude-diet-cheeseburger-quinoa-bake-step-7-Bake for 25 minutes until the cheese has melted and the topping is lightly browned.

dude-diet-cheeseburger-quinoa-bake-step-8-Let your kickass quinoa bake rest for 10 minutes. (Trust me, it will be scary hot.) Serve topped with chopped lettuce and pickles.


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