The Complete Quinoa Crust, Layered Vegetable Bake

 

Ingredients:

2cups cooked, tri-colour quinoa

2tbsp LSA (Linseed, Sunflower & Almond meal). *Can substitute for linseed meal, extra chia seeds or chia seed meal.

2tbsp Chia seeds

8tbsp water

5 large kale leaves, de-veined, rinsed, patted dry, chopped roughly

3-4 medium-large zucchini’s. Sliced lengthways, thinly with mandolin or knife

¼ - ½ pumpkin. Sliced the same thickness as zucchini, with mandolin or knife

¼ cauliflower, chopped into small florets

3-4 red onions, sliced lengthways into rounds

1tbsp unhulled sesame seeds

Optional: 2tbsp cumin (or other spice of choice), sprinkled onto pumpkin slices

1 pinch Pink Himalayan sea salt

Cracked pepper to taste

8 eggs, whisked *organic if possible, free-range if not

 

Method

Vegetable layers:

  • Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius & line baking trays with baking paper

  • Place sliced zucchini, pumpkin (sprinkled with cumin) & onion on baking trays. Place in oven for 15-20 mins, until veg is slightly cooked/soft. Zucchini may need less time than pumpkin & onion, depending on thickness.

  • Remove from oven & set aside.

Quinoa crust:

  • Whilst vegetables are baking. In a medium saucepan, cook tri-coloured quinoa. Set aside and let cool. *Quinoa expands. Cooking 1cup quinoa should give you enough for 2 cooked-cups needed for the crust.

    *How to cook quinoa: Measure 1cup quinoa, pour into sieve, rinse under running cold water & drain. Place quinoa into a medium saucepan. Measure 2cups water (1:2 ratio) & pour into saucepan. Place onto stove top & bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to low-heat, cover with saucepan lid & simmer until liquid has been absorbed (15-20mins). Remove from heat & remove lid, let sit for 5-ish mins & fluff with fork.

  • In a mixing bowl, add chia seeds & LSA. Mix evenly & add water. Whisk until a paste is formed.

  • Once quinoa has cooled down a bit. Measure out 2cups & add to chia & LSA mix. Sprinkle in salt, add cracked pepper to taste & mix until ingredients are evenly distributed.

Assembling:

  • Line a loaf or cake tin with baking paper (can be round/square or rectangle, whatever you prefer)

  • Place quinoa crust mixture into the bottom of the tin & even out with a fork. Once even, press down with the back of the fork to stick it together.

  • Layer kale leaves flat on-top of quinoa

  • Layer pumpkin slices on top of kale

  • Layer red onion on top of pumpkin

  • Layer zucchini slices on top of red onion

  • Pour whisked eggs slowly on top of zucchini slices so egg sinks through the layers

  • Sprinkle with sesame seeds

  • Place in oven for 30 mins, remove & place cauliflower florets ontop of vegetable bake

  • Place back in oven for 15-25 mins.

  • All together will be cooking for 45-55 mins, until egg has completely cooked *checking the middle with a skewer

 

Serving suggestions

  • Serve hot, straight from the oven. Serve alone or with one of these delicious ideas:

  • Chunky beetroot relish: 2 beetroots, 2 carrots, 2tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 bunch coriander, 1tbsp extra virgin coconut oil. Blended until small chunks

  • Quick, easy hummus: 1 can organic chickpeas, rinsed well & drained. 2tbsp tahini, juice of 1 lemon, 1 pinch pink Himalayan sea salt, 1tbsp cumin. Blend all until smooth. Add 1 pinch paprika to sprinkle for serving.

  • A side of greens: Steamed broccolini & green beans. Drizzled with a tahini dressing- 2tbsp unhulled tahini whisked with 2tbsp apple cider vinegar. Sprinkle with slivered almonds.

 

Nutritional Benefits:

Not only does the beautiful bake triple as your breakfast, lunch or dinner but it is also loaded with nutrition! It’s what I consider to be a complete meal- it includes a healthy source of fats, an abundant array of vegetables & a great source of gluten-free carbohydrates. Importantly, it also contains protein both from the eggs & the quinoa. The complete vegetable bake has its name because you get all your key macronutrients in one meal, plus the added benefits of a range of micronutrients & phytochemicals!

  • Eggs: You don’t have to label eggs “super” to call them a “superfood”! Eggs are a great vegetarian source of complete protein. This means they contain all the nine essential amino acids needed by humans through dietary sources. Eggs contain healthy fats (found in the yolk), which have been shown to contribute to raising HDL, the “Good” cholesterol.

  • Kale: Where do I start? This vegetable is loaded with nutritional benefits. To name a few- Vitamin K, an important nutrient which helps to maintain blood homeostasis. Indole-3-carbinol, a compound found in plant members of the cruciferous vegetable family. I3C is a potent antioxidant that plays a role in liver detoxification & has been seen to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects within the body.

  • Quinoa: is a naturally gluten-free seed, used commonly as a pseudo-grain. It is also a complete protein source & a wonderful source of nutrients for coeliacs, vegans and vegetarians.

  • Pumpkin: One of my fave vegetables! Pumpkin is one of the highest sources of beta-carotene, giving it a wonderful orange glow! Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A (retinol) inside the body & is an important nutrient for vision. Vitamin A is also an important antioxidant, which can help combat free-radical damage!

  • Zucchini: is a great, versatile, low calorie vegetable containing calcium, magnesium & phosphorus to name a few of its nutrients. It can be used as sweet or savoury baking, is delicious raw or cooked & is a great gluten-free/grain-free alternative for noodles!

  • Red onion: red onion is packed with Quercetin, a flavonoid that has antioxidant effects. Quercetin can assist with stabilization of cells that release histamines, which may help to reduce allergy symptoms & have an anti-inflammatory effect.

 

Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy! xx

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