I took our two dogs to the vet today for their yearly check-up and vaccinations. Plus a year’s worth of heartworm and flea/tick meds for both. And now I’m broke. On the way home, I told them it’s a good thing they’re so cute. They both put on a little weight over the winter and I’m feeling terribly guilty for not walking them enough during the cold months. Why is it that I feel far more guilty about their lack of exercise than I do my own? Maybe it’s because they can’t choose. They really have no choice in the matter. Fortunately, spring is in sight. Temps have been rising, snow is rapidly melting and the clocks jumped ahead by an hour. Time to get outside and get moving.
This recipe would be fabulous in the summer with fresh corn, but it was also great with frozen corn as a cold-weather comfort-food meal. The fact that the leftovers were worth saving and reheating is always a good sign. In fact, these were the first leftovers we’ve finished off entirely in a long time. But then again, it’s a Dreena Burton recipe, so no surprise there ;)
This vegan, gluten-free, soy-free casserole is another fabulous creation from Dreena’s latest cookbook, Let Them Eat Vegan! It’s easy to prepare, has amazing flavor and the ingredients can all be found at your local grocery store (maybe they are even in your pantry already). Served with a side of vegetables and a dinner roll, it makes a great main dish. It would also be great for a potluck or as a side dish. As a main dish, it serves 4 to 5 – and at four servings, this recipe packs a whopping 14 grams of protein per serving! Impressive.
I absolutely cannot wait to have fresh veggies and herbs growing in our new greenhouse soon. It seems like I’ve had plenty of time to get this greenhouse thing figured out over the winter (what/when/how to plant). But I feel like I haven’t had a spare moment. And here we are, on the verge of spring, and I still don’t have a clue. Maybe I’ll just wing it and let year one be all about fun and learning. Am I just being lazy? Don’t answer that.
- 2 cups plain unsweetened non-dairy milk (almond or soy preferred)
- 1½ cups frozen or fresh corn kernels
- 1 cup uncooked, rinsed quinoa or millet*
- 1 cup vegan vegetable stock
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- ¾ cup seeded and diced red bell pepper
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1 (14 oz.) can cannellini beans (white kidney beans) or
- navy beans, drained and rinsed*
- ½ tsp (rounded) sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1-3 Tbsp. extra non-dairy milk (if needed)
- a few pinches of cayenne, or a few dashes of hot sauce*
- 1-2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice*
- 3-4 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine 1 cup of the milk with 3⁄4 cup of the corn kernels in a large, deep cup (reserving other 3⁄4 cup of corn to add later). Puree with an immersion blender or in a blender.
- In a large casserole dish (about 8 x 12 inches), combine this mixture with the reserved corn plus all the other ingredients, except the lime juice, parsley and extra milk. Stir well.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and stir. Put the foil back on and bake for another 20-25 minutes, until quinoa is cooked through.
- Remove from oven and remove bay leaf. Add lime juice and parsley (if using), stir well. Add the extra milk if a thinner mixture is desired, and serve.
*Be sure to rinse quinoa before cooking, to remove its bitter saponins.
*If you’d like to add some textural crunch, try adding toasted nuts, such as almonds or walnuts, crushed or chopped.
*If using millet, add another ⅓ cup of nondairy milk and a 1⁄2 cup of water to the casserole before cooking, and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.
*I used great northern beans instead of white kidney or navy beans because that’s what I had in my pantry – and they worked great.
*Recipe says to combine the ingredients in the casserole dish, but I found it easier to combine them in a large bowl first and then pour it into the dish.
*I added a little hot sauce, but I wish I would have added more. It can take more than you think.
*The lime juice is optional, but I think it really enhances the flavor so I don’t recommend skipping it. I didn’t end up adding any extra milk at the end – it didn’t need it.
I’m looking forward to making this again in the summer with fresh corn – even better! Now if summer would just hurry up and get here.