Being vegetarian, I am forever on the hunt for meat-free alternatives to bring to potlucks and holiday gatherings. In response to the general lack of protein-rich dishes at most holiday tables in mixed company (not pointing any fingers), I wanted to create a dish this year that would “fill the void”. I’m not sure I was 100% successful in creating something that could substitute as a main dish, but it will definitely fill you up enough to avoid swoops through the cookie table!
Broccoli Quinoa Casserole is a little nostalgia, mixed with one large part comfort food, and lightly topped with a sprinkle of protein-rich nutrition. I used my aunt’s broccoli rice casserole recipe as a starting point, substituting rice for quinoa, and using a variety of other sources to add in some comfort staples like mayonnaise, nutmeg and just a hint of sugar.
Finally, a dish carnivores and herbivores can agree on!
Broccoli Quinoa Casserole Recipe
This will generously feed 14 people; the recipe outlined below fills a 13 x 9 casserole.
- 2 10 Ounce Cans Cream of Mushroom (or Broccoli) Soup
Gluten Free? Not to worry, I’ve got you covered:
Gluten Free Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 3/4 Cup Mayonnaise (Reduced Fat OK)
- 4 Tablespoons Milk
- 2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 1 Teaspoon Sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- Dash Nutmeg
- 5 Cups Cooked Broccoli
- 3 Cups Cooked Quinoa
- 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
How To Cook Quinoa:
1 1/2 Cups Uncooked Quinoa
3 Cups Water
- Rinse quinoa until water comes through filter clear.
- Place quinoa in pan with water.
- Bring quinoa and water to boil over high heat.
- Once boil has been reached, reduce heat to simmer and cover.
- Cook for 15-18 minutes, stir a few times during cooking process to prevent sticking to pan.
- Quinoa is done when tail becomes visbile. Take care not to overcook.
How to Make Casserole:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat 13 x 9 casserole with butter or cooking spray.
- Combine soup, mayonnaise, milk, cheddar cheese, sugar, pepper and nutmeg in a large bowl until well mixed.
- Stir cooked broccoli and quinoa into mixture.
- Pour mixture into greased casserole, using spatula to evenly distribute mixture throughout entire casserole.
- Cover top of casserole with parmesan cheese. Save some for finished casserole.
- Bake uncovered for 45-55 minutes or until casserole is golden brown and bubbling.
- Serve with freshly grated parmesan on top and ENJOY!
Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips
They’re GLUTEN FREE too!
These are quite possibly the easiest, most delicious cookies I have ever made. 5 simple ingredients and about 25 minutes is all it takes to make these peanut buttery wonders.
One word of warning though – you will want to be prepared with a tall glass of milk (I prefer almond*) – these cookies are VERY sweet!
*For anyone curious, here’s a link on How to Make Almond Milk
Flourless Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1 Cup Smooth Peanut Butter
- 1 Egg
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
- 3/4 Cup to 1 Cup Milk Chocolate Chips (could also substitute butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, semi-sweet chips, etc.)
- Mix Sugar and Baking Soda together in large bowl until combined.
- Add Peanut Butter and Egg to bowl.
- Beat on low briefly until dough is formed (will be sticky and pull away from sides of bowl easily).
- Pour Chocolate Chips into mix and combine with a spoon. Add 1/4 cup of Chocolate Chips at a time and eyeball to see when you’ve added enough. Take care not to add too many chocolate chips as the dough will not be able to stick together properly if there are too many chips.
- Using a medium sized spoon, scoop out enough dough to fill the spoon.
- Form a rounded dough ball and place onto baking sheet, gently flatten center of cookie once placed on the sheet.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 11 minutes.
- After removing from oven, allow cookies to stand on baking sheet for 1-2 minutes to prevent breaking when moving from baking sheet to cooling rack.
Over the past few holiday seasons I’ve tried various preparations using both Tofurky and Quorn Turk’y faux bird products. I am really hard pressed to say which I like “best”, as they each have their own unique place on the vegetarian holiday table.
What I will say is that the major difference between the two is that the Tofurky always seems to be a bit more moist (and less actual turkey-like) than the Quorn products. I imagine this has something to do with the fact that the Tofurky is soy/wheat based, whereas the Quorn Turk’y is made from mycoprotein – a fungi resulting from the combination of oxygen, nitrogen, glucose and minerals.
In any case, for Thanksgiving this year I had a special request from a newly turned herbivore who wanted a Tofurky. As a Tofurky virgin, I wanted to go with a recipe that I could be extra sure would not send her running back to dine on our feathered friends. Here’s my recipe for Tofurky made in an oven bag. Please do not feel compelled to stick to the veggies I used, as I’ve used all types of items in the past including: sweet potatoes, garlic, mushrooms, leeks, etc.
Tofurky Recipe – Oven Bag Tofurky
What You’ll Need
- 1 Tofurky
- 1 Oven Bag
- 6 Celery Stalks
- 1/2 Small Bag Baby Carrots
- 1 Medium Sweet Onion
- 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Grade B Maple Syrup
- 1 tsp Finely Chopped Raw Garlic (optional)
How To Make Tofurky
- Thaw Tofurky in refrigerator for 24 hours prior to cooking. If you forgot to thaw, no worries – you’ll just need to cook it longer.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove casing from Tofurky and place in oven bag.
- Cut carrots, onion, celery into large bite-sized pieces.
- Place vegetables into bag with roast.
- Whisk together olive oil, sauce sauce, maple syrup and garlic.
- Pour 3/4 of liquid into bag with roast and vegetables. Mix ingredients in bag together so that roast and vegetables are all covered.
- Place bag into shallow roasting pan and trim end of bag so it does not hang down. You will want to use a pan that fits the bag and ingredients tightly. I believe the one I used was 9×9.
- Cook at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes (if thawed). A frozen Tofurky will take about 3 – 3 hours and 30 minutes to cook thoroughly.
- Once cooked, remove roast and vegetables from oven bag, placing into pan.
- Cover roast with remaining basting sauce and cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Do not overcook as it will cause exterior of roast to become dry.
Word to the wise – the thinner you slice the Tofurky, the more like turkey it tastes!
Gluten free holiday revelers need not worry, I’ve also included a recipe for Gluten Free Cream of Anything that can be used in place of the standard, canned cream of mushroom soup.
This Green Bean Casserole recipe will *barely* fit within the confines of a 9 x 13 pan.
I’d estimate this size casserole will serve at least 12-14 guests with leftovers.
What You Will Need
- 1 small sweet onion
- 1 box baby bella (portobello) mushrooms
- pat of butter (just enough to cook mushroom and onion)
- 3 10.75 ounce cans cream of mushroom soup OR 3 batches Gluten Free Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 6 cans no-salt green beans (I advise against frozen as they tend to get soggy/watery in the casserole)
- ~3 cups of milk – enough to fill empty can of cream of mushroom soup
- 8 oz. french fried onions
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
- 3-4 teaspoons soy sauce (optional)
Looking for something new and simple to try for your next picnic? I present you my new favorite recipe – Apple Quinoa Salad!
Perfect (non-animal) protein + nature’s perfect fruit + maple syrup = levels of wonder you never dreamed possible in one simple salad.
What more perfect thing is there to do on a rainy day than enjoy Zucchini Bread?? Thanks Mom!
“To cake or not to cake, that is the question.”
When I think of a wedding, immediately what comes to mind (in this order) is – dress, cake and the electric slide. Knowing that people expect to have their cake and eat it too at every wedding-related event (leading up to and including the wedding), we wanted to do something a bit different for the bridal shower. Knowing that the shower was going to be outside in my sister’s backyard, and taking into consideration the unpredictability of heat/humidity in Southeastern Pennsylvania in late August, we wanted a dessert that would be cool and refreshing.
Inspired by Trader Joe’s unpublished deal of the week; Tofurky $4.99 each. A pescetarian sucker for a stuffed hunk of tofu, I snatched up a pair of the featherless treats. Being lazy and pressed for time, I wanted to come up with something that would require minimal preparation and offer optimal tastiness. Deep fry? No. Boil? Ew. Crock pot?? Now you’re talking… (more…)