On my end, life has been pretty busy recently. I know that’s likely the same story for a lot of you!
I’m getting some new things going on the business side of things, we’re starting to get ready to move into our newly built house at the end of the year, and our schedules are getting busy with social commitments – including a large amount of wedding activities. Not mine, but others…we have SIX weddings to attend this summer! Oh boy.
Anyways, a busy life could mean less time for grocery shopping and cooking. How do we deal with this? How about trying to use up food on our pantries and freezers – so we can skip the grocery shopping step!
Myself, I always have an assortment of grains, dried legumes, nuts and seeds in my pantry. In my freezer, I have an assortment of frozen veggies and fruit. I dug into these two places to see what I could find…
I thought creating a casserole with quinoa, lentils and broccoli, flavoured with some dried spices and garlic, would be perfect. The only two perishable items I have in this recipes are the cheese and milk. However, these are two staples I do always have on hand – so I truly did skip the grocery store for this recipe!
What sort of recipe can you come up with, using items in your freezer and pantry?
Broccoli Quinoa Lentil Casserole
This casserole is a 'make it better' version of a traditional gratin. A number of ingredients are kitchen staples, which you may already have floating around in your space - perfect for spring cleaning.
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1/2 cup uncooked red lentils
- 2 cups broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 3/4 cup bread crumbs (gluten-free if needed)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup milk
- 1 clove garlic, minced
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Cook quinoa and lentils by combining the vegetable broth, along with quinoa and lentils in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium for about 20 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed.
3. Unthaw broccoli (if frozen) by placing in microwave for a few minutes. Next, roast broccoli by placing the broccoli on your prepared baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, until lightly coated on all sides. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the broccoli is tender and starting to caramelize on the edges. Remove from oven.
4. In a small pan over medium heat, heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, stirring often. Add the bread crumbs, basil and oregano and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until slightly browned and crisp. Set aside to cool.
5. Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees. Combine 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese, along with the milk with the cooked quinoa and lentils and stir until easily combined.
6. Pour the cheesy quinoa and lentils into a 9-inch square baking dish and top with the roasted broccoli. Stir until the broccoli is evenly mixed in with the quinoa and lentils. Sprinkle the surface of the casserole with the reserved cheese, then sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top.
7. Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes, until the top is golden. Cool before serving.