The weather here in San Diego is finally getting cooler. FINALLY! It has been way too hot this summer. I love living in southern California, but have to say I’m not a big fan of the heat. I just melt. Maybe it’s due to being married to a Canadian, but I can’t handle it being too hot. I hide inside our air conditioned apartment during the hottest days of the summer. And the heat lasts from June to October here. But it’s cooler now, which means it’s casserole weather!
This cheesy roasted veggie and quinoa bake is one of my favorite casseroles. Roasting vegetables really brings out their flavor. I roasted cauliflower, brussels sprouts, onions, and potatoes in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Quinoa makes for a nice base and is a complete protein with all the essential amino acids. I cooked the quinoa in vegetable broth to give it more flavor and nutrition. And cheese…well, cheese just makes everything better! For this casserole I love to use New Zealand grass-fed sharp white cheddar cheese. It’s so creamy and flavorful. I also mix in a couple eggs, which help the casserole stick together and provide even more protein.
You might have noticed that I used two casserole dishes for this recipe. That’s because it’s so delicious that I actually want to have leftovers. It’s rare when I look forward to leftovers, but I do with this recipe. The entire recipe serves between 6-8 people, depending on how big of an appetite you have.
This roasted veggie and quinoa bake is so good, you won’t want to stop eating. So cuddle up with a blanket, your spouse and children if you’re blessed enough to have them, and enjoy! It’s serious comfort food as the weather gets cooler. Of course, here in San Diego it only ever is “California chilly.” We like to bundle up while people on the East Coast laugh at us for thinking it’s cold. But it is cold to us. And that calls for this casserole.
- Roasted vegetables:
- 1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds)
- 5 medium-sized potatoes
- 12 ounces shaved brussels sprouts
- ½ onion
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 cups quinoa
- A 32-ounce carton vegetable broth
- Additional ingredients:
- 0.65 pounds New Zealand grass fed sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 eggs
- Preheat the oven to 400*F. Wash and dice the cauliflower, potatoes, and onion. If not using a bag of shaved brussels sprouts, wash and quarter the brussels sprouts. Mix the cauliflower, potatoes, onion, brussels sprouts, olive oil, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the vegetables equally amongst the sheets. Roast for about 50 minutes, or until starting to blacken and becoming very flavorful.
- While the vegetables are roasting, cook the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa and cook it in a rice cooker or on the stovetop. If using a rice cooker, plug it in, add the quinoa and vegetable broth to the rice cooker, and switch the lever to “cook.” If cooking on the stovetop, pour the vegetable broth into a medium saucepan, bring to a boil over high heat, turn the heat down to low, and cover with a lid. Simmer 15 minutes or until all the vegetable broth is absorbed.
- Grate the white cheddar cheese or shred it in a food processor. In a large bowl (or two if your bowls are smaller), mix together the vegetables, quinoa, cheese, and eggs. Divide amongst two casserole dishes and cover each dish with a lid. Bake at 400*F for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.