I was surfing around online recently when I heard two words combined that thrilled me to the core: “Quinoa Casserole”. What the what?! That’s pure genius if you ask me. Quinoa is generally more toothsome than rice or noodles, so it makes a fantastic casserole base. Plus, I just love the stuff. It has this slightly nutty taste and perfectly al dente texture that makes me want to shovel the stuff into my mouth. Give me a big bowl of quinoa seasoned with a touch of salt & pepper any day of the week.
Determined to invent my own quinoa casserole, I perused the farmers market with quinoa in mind. When I came across a bag of sweet potatoes I was thrilled. It was all coming together. That night, I whipped up this recipe for the first time, a deliciously layered cast iron vegetarian casserole that sticks to your ribs, and fills your belly.
If you choose to ignore all the cream and cheese (which I totally do) this recipe is pretty dang nutritious. Quinoa is packed with fiber and protein, both of which are amped up by the inclusion of black beans. You’ve also got jalapeno, tomato, and nutrient packed, low GI sweet potato at the party. It’s a beta carotene carnival. Serve this dish with a hearty green salad (perhaps including some spinach or kale) or a green veggie like string beans or chard, and you’ve got a very well rounded meal. If you can’t live without meat, try serving it with some sausage on the side. They go really well together.