Feb 28, 2013

Lentil Quinoa Casserole

This dish is LOADED with nutrients, 100% oil-free and low in calories. Lots of healthy plant-based protein, too! One cup of cooked quinoa has only about 254 calories and 9 grams of protein. Here is the nutritional breakdown for one serving (2 cups) of this casserole:

As you can see, the recipe scores an “A” on its nutrition grade. But keep in mind this nutrition meter calculates macronutrient scores only (protein, fat and carbohydrates) and does not include the many thousands of healthful micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, trace elements, phytochemicals and antioxidants) in these ingredients that are vital to your good health; like greens, beans, mushrooms, onions, nuts and seeds. As mentioned, there is no oil in this recipe. The fat content is from nuts and seeds… healthy, whole-food fats!

        “We should be eating food, (as nature intended) not oil (isolated fat). When we extract the oil from the whole food it was derived from we leave behind the lignins, flavonoids, anti-oxidants, sterols, stanols and phytochemcials that make raw nuts and seeds so disease-protective. Raw nuts and seeds (not roasted peanut butter or coconut oil) have been linked in more than 100 scientific studies to lower risk of heart disease and lower risk of cancer.” ~ Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

This is a great dish to make ahead of time. I often put together soups and casseroles on the weekend for the coming week.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups cooked lentils, rinsed
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup corn niblets (fresh or frozen)
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 TBS Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1 TBS Spike Organic Sprinkle or substitute 2 tsp thyme + 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp salt-free Spike or other all-purpose, salt-free seasoning blend
  • paprika for garnish

 ~ for the sauce

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened soy milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 TBS mellow white miso
  • 1 tsp date sugar or other minimally processed sweetener


Directions:

  1. Water sauté the onion until tender. To water sauté, heat a skillet, wok or pan over high heat until water sputters when dropped on it. Add a small amount of water (2-3 tablespoons) and the items to be cooked such as onions, garlic, peppers or other vegetables. Add more water as necessary and stir occasionally until the vegetables are tender. Do not add too much water or the food will be boiled not sautéed. To develop flavor, let the pan dry enough for the food to lightly brown before you add more water.
  2. Add mushrooms and spices and sauté until cooked, adding a bit more water as needed to prevent sticking.
  3. Add lentils, corn, spinach, seeds, aminos and spices and sauté until spinach is wilted.
  4. Place the cashews and 1/2 cup soy milk into a high powered blender and blend until smooth.
  5. Add remaining sauce ingredients and blend again until smooth.
  6. Add 1 cup of the sauce to the vegetable sauté and mix well.
  7. Lightly grease a casserole dish.
  8. Place the 3 cups of cooked quinoa onto the bottom of the casserole dish.
  9. Spread the veggie ingredients on top.
  10. Cover the veggies with the remaining sauce.
  11. Sprinkle with paprika.
  12. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the sauce looks firm on top.
Serves 4. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,

4 responses to “Lentil Quinoa Casserole”

  1. Anna says:

    Hi Helyn! Love your blog so much. Does this recipe freeze well? You mentioned you like to make it ahead of time so I am just curious. I'm having a baby in October (my third) and I'm trying to find good nutritarian recipes to freeze so I wont have to worry about cooking too much those first few weeks. I'm new to this way of eating so any help or other freezer recipe suggestions would be wonderful. Thanks so much for all you do!

  2. Helyn says:

    Hi Anna! Congratulations on your new little one soon to be arriving! Yes, this freezes well. You can also freeze any of my soups and stews recipes. Use freezer-friendly plastic containers. Veggie burgers also freeze perfectly. I separate mine with parchment and put them in a ziplock bag. You can make a bunch of nut-based salad dressings and freeze them, too! Hope this helps!

  3. Gira says:

    I made this last week and it was GREAT! I did not add the sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or spinach, but I instead added about 4 cups of frozen mixed veggies (peas, carrot, corn, green beans) but it still turned out yummy! Thank you so much!

  4. Helyn says:

    Yay! Glad you liked it. Thanks so much for the feedback!!!

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