Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cabbage Apple Quinoa Bake with Creamy Garam Masala BBQ Sauce

This recipe is one of those leftover miracles.  Last week I bought a head of green cabbage, thinking that I was going to make coleslaw to go with some barbecue seitan sandwiches. Then Anthony broke the sad news that salad has been making him feel sick lately (He used to eat it every day for lunch at work), and he thinks that the dressing is the culprit (reason unknown).  After hearing that, I didn't dare make coleslaw, so what to do with the cabbage?  I kept ignoring it in the fridge until another unexpected turn of events made for more lonely leftovers that needed a new recipe home.  Our family was planning to go to Disneyland this week, but Sawyer has been refusing to go to sleep at night and thus got sick the morning that we were planning to go.  I had already made a bunch of snacks for the trip, two of which being roasted curried chickpeas and soy-free jerky.  It was time to start scheming for new ways to put these foods to good use.  I had a half an hour to make dinner, during which frantic time this casserole was born: totally improbable, and totally delicious.

For more tasty allergy-friendly recipes, please check out Allergy-Free Wednesdays!

For the filling:
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 Tbsp. soy-free Earth Balance buttery spread (could just sub more coconut oil)
1 medium head green cabbage
2 medium sweet-tart apples (I used Pink Lady)
1/2 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
1 Tbsp. agave nectar or maple syrup
2 cups cooked quinoa

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 recipe soy-free vegan jerky (You could sub about 1 cup vegan bacon bits.)
1 Tbsp. coconut oil

For the sauce:
1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used hemp milk.)
1/4 cup vegan mayo
1/4 c. barbecue sauce
2-4 tsp. garam masala, to taste
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika

1. Preheat the oven to 400.  In a small mixing bowl, combine the chickpeas, olive oil, curry powder, and salt. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread the chickpeas evenly over it. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, stirring half-way through, until they are toasty with a bit of crunch.
2. While the chickpeas are baking, shred the cabbage and apples in a food processor. You could use a knife, but you want them shredded very fine.  Melt the coconut oil and Earth Balance in a large skillet.  Add the shredded cabbage, apples, salt, and pepper and saute for about 10 minutes, until cooked down and starting to brown a bit. Add the agave and stir to evenly distribute. Cook for about two minutes more and remove from the heat.
3. Oil a 9x13 inch baking dish, scoop the cooked cabbage-apple mixture into the pan, and then mix in the quinoa until evenly distributed.
4. Once the chickpeas are done, add them to the food processor along with the soy-free jerky or bacon bits and the remaining tablespoon coconut oil. Pulse until evenly ground. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the quinoa-cabbage-apple filling.
5. Bake the casserole in the 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, until heated through and the topping is nicely browned.
6. While the casserole bakes, prepare the sauce by mixing all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Start with 2 tsp. garam masala, and increase the amount according to your tastes and the strength of your spices.  Serve the completed casserole with the sauce drizzled on top. Baked sweet potatoes and some sauteed greens make great side dishes.

Leftover idea/ variation:  I took about 2 cups of the casserole and mashed it up with a small, very well baked potato and 1-2 Tbsp. of the sauce to make a few veggie burger patties. Just fry them up with a bit of olive oil in a skillet and top with additional sauce in a pita or on a bun!


  1. you are AMAZING! miss you. what darlings you have. and um... when will you post your fantastic squash lasagna?

  2. Thanks for sharing this at Allergy Free Wednesdays! Hope to see you next week!