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4 Vegetarian Show Stoppers

Family Dinners for Meatless Mondays and Beyond

Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

1 cup uncooked quinoa2 cups water or low sodium broth (for cooking quinoa)
4 cups fresh broccoli florets
2 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons oat flour (all-purpose will work too)
1 cup milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)
8-oz block of good quality cheddar cheese, divided
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a casserole dish (I use an 8×8 square) with non-stick spray or lightly grease.

Prepare quinoa using water or broth, according to package directions. You should end up with about 3 cups of cooked, fluffy quinoa. Place in a large mixing bowl. While quinoa is cooking, steam broccoli for 5 to 6 minutes or until bright green and crisp tender. Meanwhile, shred cheese by using a food processor with the
shredding attachment or with a handheld grater.

Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook until soft and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together milk, flour, and garlic powder. Pour milk mixture into saucepan with the onions and garlic. Allow sauce to simmer, whisking continuously until sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese until melted. Pour cheese sauce over quinoa and broccoli. Toss well to combine. Transfer to greased baking dish and top with remaining shredded cheese. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until the casserole is heated through and cheese has melted. Serve warm. Serves 10.

Vegetarian Sheet Pan Dinner

1 pound extra-firm tofu, pressed, drained and chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons liquid aminos, coconut aminos or low-sodium tamari
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 medium butternut squash (about 6 cups) peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 medium/large red onion, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Tahini Sauce

1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add chopped tofu, aminos, maple syrup, and garlic powder in a large bowl. Toss and let marinate for at least 30 minutes. Prep tahini sauce while tofu is marinating. Add chopped butternut squash, chickpeas, and onion to a large sheet pan. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Add tofu to the pan and toss once more. Place sheet pan in the oven, and roast for 30 minutes. Toss ingredients and place in the oven for 40 more minutes or until chickpeas are crisp, tofu is golden, and butternut squash is fork-tender. Serve with extra tahini sauce. Serves 4.


Kale and Sweet Potato Brown Rice Bowls

2 cups cooked brown rice (or quinoa)
4 cups steamed kale
1 cup cooked chickpeas
4 cups roasted sweet potato chunks (2 large sweet potatoes)

Peanut sauce: 

1/2 cup peanut butter
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 teaspoons fresh ginger, chopped
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
4 tablespoons low sodium tamari or soy sauce
4 tablespoons maple syrup
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Water, to thin 

Blend all the sauce ingredients in a blender until smooth. Add water to thin sauce and create desired consistency.

To roast sweet potatoes: chop 2 large sweet potatoes into 1/4-inch chunks, drizzle 2 teaspoons oil and sprinkle with a little sea salt and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. This step is best done ahead of time. Cook brown rice according to package instructions while sweet potatoes are roasting. Prepare kale by washing, de-stemming, and chopping. Then steam in a steamer basket for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. You can blanch or sauté the kale if you’d rather.

Once all ingredients are prepped, evenly distribute brown rice, kale, chickpeas, and sweet potato chunks between two bowls. Drizzle each with as much peanut sauce as you’d like. Serve warm or at room-temperature. Serves 4.


Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas

1 tablespoon avocado oil or coconut oil
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into small bite-size chunks
2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeño
1 cup baby spinach
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon sea salt
12 corn tortillas
2 cups shredded Mexican cheeseOptional toppings: chopped green onions, chopped cilantro, sour cream, avocado

Enchilada sauce:

28-oz can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1-1/2  tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth;
set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Add oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add jalapeño, sweet potatoes, and salt. Cover and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender. The cook time will vary based on how big the sweet potato chunks are. Once sweet potatoes are fully cooked, add black beans and baby spinach. Toss to combine and remove from heat.

Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish and start layering. Place four tortillas over the bottom of the dish, add a third of the enchilada sauce, half of black bean and sweet potato mixture, and half of the cheese. Add 4 tortillas, a third of the sauce and half of the black bean and sweet potato mixture. Layer 4 tortillas, remaining third of the enchilada sauce, and top with the remaining cheese.

Bake uncovered at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the top layer of cheese has melted and the enchiladas are hot throughout. Serve with toppings of your choice – green onions, chopped cilantro, sour cream or Greek yogurt, and avocado slices. Serves 8.

Photos: Brittany Mullins

Brittany Mullins is a Richmond native, wife, mother, and founder of Eating Bird Food, an online platform focused on real food recipes and lifestyle content. When she’s not in the kitchen cooking you can find Brittany going on long walks around Northside with her husband, daughter and Yorkshire Terrier. Get inspired to live a healthy, balanced life by connecting with Brittany on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, on her blog at
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