Mmmm…can’t you just taste summer? This Quinoa Summer Squash Casserole is inspired by a side dish my grandmother used to make on warm summer nights. She’d use fresh-picked zucchini and yellow squash from her garden and pile it high in a casserole dish with gooey cheese and crispy breadcrumbs. It’s one of those dishes that just speaks summer and an easy way to make a tasty casserole healthy!
I grew up eating dinners mostly at grandma’s house. My mom and dad both worked, and grandma lived just next door. She was gracious enough to welcome us into her home for a full, hearty and healthy dinner every night. It was there, in that warm house, with warm and loving company, that I grew in my love for cooking.
I loved going over to grandma’s to help her with dinner. Partially, it was because I just wanted to lend a helping hand, but also just because of the relationship that flourished when we were together in the kitchen. Food is so good at bringing people together.
In the middle of my eating disorder, I remember hating that fact…that food so often brings people together. I remember asking myself, “why does everything have to include food?” I was bitter because I wanted to be around friends and family, but feared a loss of control when every social outing included food. Food was terrifying to me, and having people see that was even more terrifying.
Being around people who see food in a joyful light. Being around people who see it as a blessing, not a curse. Being around people who see it as the life-bringing substance that it is instead of fearing it.
I love food! I love everything about a beautiful, well thought out meal. I love when people are in my home, enjoying food alongside me. I love showing people that eating well and being healthy is not about restricting, not about fearing, and not about denying yourself joy. Food is an essence of life!
I hope you know this to be true. And if not, I hope you have the courage dear friend, to find help. Life is a colorful, beautiful world…and the food we eat and share is apart of that. Embrace it, love it, eat it!
This delicious Quinoa Summer Squash Casserole is a dish I love to share with friends over good conversation and late night wine sipping. It’s a perfect side dish to pair with anything you decide to grill out this summer, or can even be enjoyed as a light meal alone. Basically, cheese + quinoa + beautiful yellow squash and zucchini baked to crispy-topped perfection will bring healthy and wholesome and flavorful and soul-nourishing all together in one big warm party!
Hope you enjoy and of course, please share your photos of all your summer cookouts and dinners including this casserole with me on Instagram with #steelnchiffon and @steelnchiffon when you make it!
Quinoa Summer Squash CasserolePrint Recipe
- 1 1/4 cup dry quinoa
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 sweet onion, sliced
- 1 large or two small zucchini squash
- 1 large or two small yellow squash
- 1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan, divided
- 1 cup original almond milk
- 2 slices sprouted or whole grain bread
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
First, cook quinoa. Bring dried quinoa and vegetable broth to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 mins or until liquid is absorbed. Set aside.
In a large cast iron skillet, sauté onion in 1 tsp olive oil. Cook until soft and golden.
Next, slice zucchini in 1/8 inch thick rounds and cook in with onion until just soft.
Meanwhile, add milk and 1/4 cup of both shredded white cheddar cheese and parmesan to quinoa. Stir until combined.
Scoop quinoa mixture out into cast iron skillet on top of squash. Stir around and bring some of the squash up to the top layer of casserole.
Top with remaining 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese and parmesan.
Finally, toast sprouted or whole grain bread until crispy.
Place into blender and pulse until bread crumbs form.
Top casserole with breadcrumbs and bake at 400 degrees for 20 mins.
If you don't have a cast iron skillet, no worries! Just simply cook veggies in regular large skillet and then combine quinoa and veggies all in a 9x13 inch casserole or glass baking dish. To make gluten free, simply use gluten free bread for breadcrumbs.
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