Let us consider for a moment the Northerner’s love of casseroles. Or, as we like to call it, hotdish (there’s a certain literalness to terminology that arises from county living that, at times, is quite cute). These are the staples of potlucks (the Northerner’s version of the Southerner’s ‘barbecue’ or ‘cook out’) and fill Lutheran church basements.
The brilliance of a casserole is its ease. Traditionally, noodle-based and involving copious amounts of cheese (this is the Wisconsinite in me showing), a casserole is just a fantastic name for anything you bake in a single dish.
Today I offer up to you my variation on baked quinoa casserole with kale and chickpeas.
I’m not a kale guy. In fact, I rather dislike the notion. Kale is one of the most annoying foods on the planet. This is because it is championed by vegans, and vegans are horrible persons.
However, it can’t be denied just how fantastically good for you kale is. Taking this into consideration, I decided I needed to sneak it into my diet. So why not merge it with my other two favorite elements of my diet these days–chickpeas and quinoa.
This recipe is one of the few that I have changed. Click the title below to see what I based it on but know that what I made is different and follows a different process.
- bushel of kale, diced
- two tablespoons olive oil
- two cloves garlic, minced
- feta crumbles (4 oz.)
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked
- 1 can chickpeas
- tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
Preheat your oven to 350F. Chop the kale well, meaning into small bits that have less than an inch of stem. In a skillet, heat olive oil (peanut or canola or vegetable oil will do as well, it doesn’t matter). When it’s hot, add kale and garlic and saute until fragrant and the kale is bright green. When done, place into a large bowl with chickpeas and diced tomatoes and mix with lemon juice.
I cook quinoa with a chicken bouillon cube, but you could just as easily use two cups of stock or just water (again, it doesn’t matter). When the quinoa is nearly done, drain away half of the liquid. Pour the rest into the bowl with the kale, chickpeas, and tomatoes. Mix it well, then pour into a casserole dish (mine is 7 x 11) and even it out.
Put into oven and bake for 30 minutes. After about thirty minutes, remove from oven and sprinkle the feta over the top. Place back into the oven for at least 15 more minutes.