Remember casseroles from childhood? Whether you loved them or hated them, this alternative to mushy noodles, canned sauce, and ground meat is pretty darn delicious! A bed of quinoa takes over where crust or pasta might otherwise be; smooth bean-and-chard puree forms the quiche-like center, and roasted cauliflower adds texture and heartiness as a topping. Throw on a little vegan cheese and you're all set! Just like Grandma used to make... if Grandma was vegan and loved really simple recipes!
This is another quickie weeknight meal - whole-family suitable and really yummy! (Because really, there are some days where Daiya cheese is just the best idea... this is one of those days!)
This casserole is a veritable explosion of plants. Adding quinoa and Daiya makes for a solid, hearty (perfectly wintery!) meal.
When I started putting this together, I'd hoped the white beans and chard would form something of a cakey base: they were definitely a little on the smoother side, but the dense puree actually created a nice balance for the crunchy cauliflower! If you'd like yours to be a little more 'set', you could combine the quinoa directly into the mixture before baking. I intend to try this next time, as I'd love to create a base layer for other recipes, too, using beans, greens, and a grain.
Casserole bonus: these don't need to be babysat! You can gain forty minutes in your night once you put this in the oven -- what will you do with all of that time?
- 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
- 3 large chard leaves, largest part of the stem removed
- 2 cups cooked white beans, divided
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 tbsp dried basil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 cups cauliflower, chopped into flat pieces (think 'slabs' instead of florets)
- 1/3 cup vegan cheddar cheese (we like Daiya)
- 1. Preheat oven to 375F.
- 2. Lay cauliflower on foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil.
- 3. Bake for 30 minutes, or until slightly browned.
- 4. In the meantime, combine chard, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 1/2 cups of beans, basil, and salt in food processor. Blend until smooth.
- 5. Layer quinoa in the bottom of a shallow cake pan or glass baking dish, then layer in your bean-chard mixture.
- 6. Top with remaining white beans.
- 7. When cauliflower is done, remove it from the oven, and place in a single layer on top of your beans-and-chard pan.
- 8. Sprinkle with vegan cheese and return to the oven for ~10 minutes, until heated through and cheese is melted.