Quinoa Cauliflower Spinach Casserole
I’m all about the casserole. Growing up my mom had quite a few in the rotation, and they always brought that sense of comfort, even till today. The tater tot casserole from years of ole’ has morphed its way into other “healthier” versions, but I still can’t seem to get rid of the cheese. It’s just too good.
To combat the fact that I’m still using cheese I thought I’d throw in some really good-for-you ingredients. Like Spinach, Quinoa, and Cauliflower. Trifecta of nutrients, am I right?! Quinoa is one of my go to ingredients for protein, because I’m really not big on meat. My other half is ALL about the meat though, so this dish makes a nice side dish, or you could easily throw meat in as well!
Cauliflower – I love it cooked and hate it raw. So let’s cook this baby up. As we learned on the blog this week, cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that’s great for your lungs. I used one head for this recipe, which equaled about 4 cups. You could easily double the recipe and use two heads to up your intake.
Steaming the cauliflower florets takes about 10 minutes, but if you’re like me and
slightly impatient, you can always dunk them in the hot tub until they soften. Either way works!
This cauliflower casserole is a great multi-tasking dish. You can steam or boil your cauliflower while you are cooking the quinoa and make your “sauce” at the same time.
I ADORE quinoa and make it on the regular, much to E’s dismay. It’s not that he hates it, it’s just that like your favorite song on the radio, I maaayyyy have over played it a bit much. I used 1 cup of rinsed quinoa in 2 cups of water. Brought it to a boil, and simmered for 15 minutes while I made my “casserole sauce” as I like to call it :).
The sauce can be played with, but I used a mixture of milk, chicken stock, olive oil, cheese, spices, spinach and a little flour. Simply mix it all together in a large bowl, and it’s ready for the quinoa and cauliflower to be mixed in when they are ready. You could use frozen spinach, but honestly I’m not a big fan of sitting there squeezing all that water out unless I have to. Again, impatient :(.
As for the cheese, any cheese would really work well. If dairy doesn’t do it for you, this recipe would still taste great with less of it. Just a little less great in my cheese obsessed opinion.
Put into a 9 x 13 casserole dish, bake at 350 for 30 minutes, sprinkle some more of that cheese on for 5 more minutes, and you’re done! One cauliflower casserole packed with goodness:).
I hope you find this as perfect of a cold weather dish as we did! What’s your favorite way to cook your cauliflower?