Quinoa is a food that has been around for ages, yet as a culture, Americans don’t use this “grain” nearly enough. (Note: quinoa is more closely related to spinach and beets rather than grains or grass). It’s high in protein (considered a complete protein), gluten-free and very high in fiber.
The beauty of quinoa is its texture, closely resembling rice or couscous. Its texture allows creative cooks (that would be me) to take advantage of how to differently prepare this.
Today, I bring to you a great way to introduce newbies to this delight: a vegetarian meat-less loaf complete with cashew gravy. I would like to thank vegangoodeats.com for this great recipe I’ve slightly modified.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 ounces wild mushrooms, finely diced
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 bag of spinach
- 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 10 sundried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 1 Teaspoon Cumin
- 1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
- 1 Tablespoon Mustard seed
- 1 Tablespoon Oregano
- 2 cups cooked quinoa (red is preferred but not necessary)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley and
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- Tabasco sauce to taste (if you like spicy)
- 2 cups low sodium veggie stock
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (I prefer Kikkoman’s Less Sodium)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 8 ounces mushrooms roughly chopped (porchini are my favorite)
- 1/2 cup of dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon Oregano (yes, I love this stuff)
- 2 teaspoon nutritional food yeast
- Heat pan and caramelize the onions. Add garlic, cook for a few minutes then add mushrooms cook until tender. Slightly season with salt & pepper then put into a large bowl.
- In first pan, sauté the spinach, when complete set aside in a different bowl.
- Using a food processor/blender, add the beans, oats, sun-dried tomatoes, cumin, paprika, mustard, oregano salt and pepper. Pulse until a homogenous paste develops.
- Put pasta in bowl with onions, garlic and mushrooms.
- Place half of the mixture into a greased pan. Place spinach on top and then cover with other half of mixture.
- Bake for 350 for about an hour. Remove from oven, let rest for 5-10 minutes
For the Gravy:
- Pour 1 cup veggie stock with all ingredients except mushrooms into a blender.
- Blend. Add other cup of stock. Blend again.
- Sauté the mushrooms until cooked about 6-8 minutes. Slightly turn down heat.
- Add the stock mixture. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Gravy should be on the thick side.
- Cut loaf to reveal spinach trapped in.
- Add a dollop (or two) of mushroom gravy