Vegan Casserole

quinoa salad, vegetarian food

Veganism is more prevalent today than it ever was, and as such you likely already have a friend or two who eat the vegan way. As a definition, eating vegan means to omit all animal-related foods from the diet. This of course includes all meats and fish, but it also includes eggs and all dairy products, as well. There are also a few other lesser known food items that vegans don’t eat because they contain small amounts of animal products. These can range from marshmallows to some candies, most of which contain gelatin from animals.

For those of us who are not vegan, cooking for vegans can be difficult. Not only is it hard to always know what products are vegan and what products aren't, but cooking for vegans and making it taste good for everyone can be a real challenge!

To prepare for those times when your vegan friends come to visit, avoid the extra work and strain of making two meals, and have this fancy (but easy!) vegan Mexican casserole on hand. It's a dish you can freeze, and it only takes a while in the oven to become warm and tasty before a meal.

What You Will Need:

1 chopped onion
1 cup of quinoa
2 cloves minced garlic
1-2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 - 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
½ - 1 cups of water
1 Tbsp. tomato ketchup
1 teaspoon of oregano
1 teaspoon of cumin
½ teaspoon of chili powder
a pinch of salt and touch of ground pepper
1 - 19 ounce can of rinsed black beans
1 - 11 ounce can of corn
3 cups of fresh spinach

Instructions

Start by preheating your oven to 350 F, then heating your olive oil on medium in a pan on the stove. Add the garlic and onion and cook until the onion is almost translucent.

While onions are sautéing, get a casserole dish that is oven safe ready with the quinoa, tomatoes, water, ketchup and spices. Once onions are translucent, remove them along with the garlic and add to the casserole dish. Put on a cover, place in oven, and cook for roughly 30 minutes.

Remove the dish and add the beans, corn and a bit of water to moisten. Return casserole to oven and cook for another 30 minutes. Take out once more, and stir in the spinach.

At this point, you can freeze your casserole, possibly in portions, and take it out at any time for quick heating when your guests are coming. When serving, add cilantro, sour cream, cubed avocado and vegan cheese, if desired.

Remember, if you happen to be caught off guard by guests who are vegan eaters and need quick meal ideas for them, salads or pasta rarely fail. Make up a salad, or cook up some (egg-free) pasta along with some stir fried fresh vegetables that you have on hand, and voila! Other grains like brown rice and lentils also work, but remember, pasta is quick!

 

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