This savory quinoa vegetable casserole is based on my Mexican Rice recipe. Using quinoa instead of rice boosts the protein content. The quinoa gives it a totally different texture though, crunchy and nutty. The nutty flavor really compliments the cumin.
I like this so much I don't know if I'll ever bother to make the Mexican rice again.
Soaking the quinoa makes it more digestible and nutritious.
1 cup quinoa, soaked overnight
2-3 cups chopped vegetables (such as zucchini/courgette, mushroom, capsicum/bell pepper, chili pepper, sundried tomatoes , parsley, cilantro, cabbage)
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive or coconut oil
1 tsp cumin seed
2 tsp ground cumin
1 fresh chili pepper, or 2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp herbal sea salt (such as Herbamare)
pinch of allspice
1-3/4 cups boiling water
Soak dried quinoa overnight, rinse until water runs clear (no more ‘soap bubbles') and drain. If you're using sundried tomatoes soak in enough water to cover.
Chop vegetables. If you're using a fresh chili pepper, cut in half lengthwise and scrap the seeds out, then chop into very fine slices.
Heat oil in a medium-sized saucepan. Add cumin seeds and fry for a minute, stirring quickly to prevent burning. Add the vegetables and continue to stir-fry over a medium heat until they soften. Then add the rest of the spices and quinoa and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes longer, stirring until well mixed.
Put the vegetable and quinoa mix into a glass casserole dish. Add boiling water (include the dried tomato soak water) and cover. Bake at 180C / 3350F for 20 minutes.
Fluff up with a fork and serve as a meal on its own or as a side dish. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro or parsley.