Sometimes, great things are born out of great mistakes. This beetroot, carrot and quinoa bake is one such great thing. What was meant to be a grated carrot and beetroot salad (like the one I described here) was in fact turned into a beautifully pink, mushy pulp thanks to a misunderstanding of my recently-purchased food processor’s settings. The mixture was too wet and pulpy in texture to enjoy as it was, so I was left wondering what to do with it: make it into a soup? A facemask? Stare at it abjectly for a while, before throwing it onto the compost? In a Newton-esque eureka! moment, I happened upon the answer: I remembered I had in the fridge a leftover quinoa salad, which was very delicious in its own right. But I knew that these flavours would complement one another, and I knew making a bake would eliminate the ‘soupyness’ of the current situation. The addition of blue-cheese and feta made my tastebuds cry a little in gratitude when I tucked into the warm, delectable taste-sensation the other night for dinner. So I thought I’d share it with you!
Beetroot, carrot and quinoa bake
Dollop of coconut oil for frying
1 onion, diced
1 Cup of quinoa
2 medium-large carrots (I used 4 small ones)
1 Cup broccoli florets
½ Cup peas
½ Cup pumpkin seeds
2 eggs (or chia-seed eggs equivalent)
1 tspn cumin
½ tspn cardamom
pinch of salt
A handful of crumbled blue-cheese or feta (or go cray-cray and have both, like I did!) (Of course, you can leave the cheese out if you’re vegan. All the same, the tart cheesy flavour really complements the sweetness of the carrots and beets, so I would recommend making a “cheese” sauce like this one as a replacement, to serve alongside the bake)
First, cook up the quinoa (if you haven’t cooked quinoa before, Sarah B made this lovely video that shows you how to do it)!
Whilst the quinoa is cooking, heat the coconut oil in a pan, and add to it the diced onion, cumin and cardamom. Keep it sizzling on low-medium heat until the onion is golden and tender. Then, throw in the broccoli and let it fry for ~5 mins.
In the mean time, in a food processor, blend the beetroot and carrots together to create a fine pulp.
In a mixing bowl, mix the beet-carrot pulp with the quinoa, onion, broccoli, peas and pumpkin seeds. Also mix in the eggs.
Transfer this mixture into a baking dish (I used one that is approximately 20cm x 20cm). Sprinkle over the top with the blue cheese/feta, and press down on it gently, so the cheese gets slightly “imbedded.”
Bake at 180C for ~30 minutes, or until the cheese is golden-brown.
I ate mine with a big serving of green salad. I think it would also taste great with some roast potatoes. I hope you enjoy this ‘mistake’ as much as I did!