Casseroles are pretty dull, right? I mean: nobody every looks forward to a casserole. Plus: they come in some very weird combinations – tuna casserole, anyone?
Ok, all joking and jabbing aside, casseroles are not my favorite. But: they are super-convenient, one-pot recipes that come together with ease and feed the family. So, they definitely deserve their place on the table, and in busy home cook kitchen and recipe collection.
Usually, casseroles need a lot of eggs, cheese and similar to keep them together. This recipe, on the other hand, uses quinoa – a wonderful grain-like, protein rich ingredient. If quinoa you are using is not processed in any way, you will need to rinse it really well to remove bitter compounds called saponins that cover its surface. As their name suggests, saponins are soap-like compounds, so you need to rinse quinoa out until it stops foaming. Once quinoa is rinsed, cook it using 1 1/2 cups of water per 1 cup of quinoa. You can also use stock, but water works just as well!
The casserole recipe below was inspired by Alton Brown and his Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole – but I took a lot of liberties to adjust for my current pantry and vegan style of cooking. Those of you who are not vegan, you may want to check Mr. Brown’s recipe!
Quinoa Broccoli Casserole
What you’ll need:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 tbsp Garlic paste or 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 lbs frozen and defrosted broccoli (or 1 lbs fresh broccoli florets, steamed)
- 1 14 oz (400 g) can artichoke hearts, sliced
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 cup cooked quinoa
- 3 tbsp tapioca starch
- Optional: cooking spray
What you’ll do:
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C).
- Place a heavy, oven-safe pan (I prefer cast iron pan) over the medium-high heat. Add the oil and onion, and sauté until onions are lightly browned. This will take about 5 minutes
- Add the garlic and sauté for about a minute.
- Mix in the mustard and the spices. Stir well, and continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the cooked quinoa, sliced artichoke hearts, steamed or defrosted broccoli florets, nutritional yeast and tapioca starch. Add the sautéd onion, garlic and spice mix, and stir everything together. Pour back into the cast iron pan, spread around to even the mixture, and spray the top with some cooking spray if using.
- Place in the oven, and bake for 30-40 minutes.
- Take the casserole out of the oven, and let rest for 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!