One of the hardest things for me about living in a warm climate is waiting for fall.
Really, I love everything about fall. SEC football, sweaters, hot chocolate after a crisp walk and the sound of leaves crunching beneath my feet. Many happy memories of my childhood were spent jumping in the just raked leaf pile from the enormous oak tree in our front lawn.
Although fall is not here yet even according to the calendar, the reality is that my summer will go beyond what the calendar dictates. We’ll go on swimming until after dark, wearing shorts and flip flops and complaining about how hot it is.
But that doesn’t stop me from bringing on the fall food.
I’m anxiously awaiting Gator football Saturdays, which for me is 15% about interest in the game and 85% about fun hanging out with the family eating football food. (Especially this year. If it gets really ugly I have classics recorded from the Tim Tebow years to enjoy with my yummy appetizers.)
I’ve been threatening the husband with a pot of soup, an idea that he is less than receptive to in the heat. Something crap about no sane person willingly eating hot soup when its 95+ degrees out.
So I’ll wait (a week or 2) on the soup, but I’m not waiting on casseroles.
Who doesn’t love the ease of putting a casserole together early in the day (or a day ahead) and popping it in the oven to enjoy the yummy gooey goodness?
This casserole is different enough to be fun and works great as a vegan main course or a side dish. Pair it with a loaf of garlic bread and you’ve got a perfect fall meal.
Now – to wait for the weather to accompany it.
Are you seeing a hint of fall yet?
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 onions, peeled and sliced thin
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ cup white wine
- 3 cups cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (about 2 cans)
- 3 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 cup of vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
- ¾ cup grated white cheese (I used Daiya), divided
- ½ cup non-dairy or low fat cream cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 2 ½ quart baking dish with olive oil.
- Heat oil to medium high in a Dutch oven. Add onions and salt and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 20 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar and cook for 5 minutes more. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant. Add wine and cook for about one minute, scraping the bottom of the pan. Remove onions from heat and place in the prepared pan. (Leave any wine that hasn’t cooked off in the pan.)
- Add the cannellini beans, quinoa, vegetable broth and rosemary to the same Dutch oven. Bring to a simmer. Stir in ¼ cup of cheese and cream cheese. Stir until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper and place the mixture over the onions in the baking dish. Top with remaining ½ cup of cheese and sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes and fresh ground black pepper if desired.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Sodium may be reduced by cooking dried beans
Inspired by Food Illustrated.