But, I digress - back to the first dish...
Vicki's Quinoa Hummus Casserole from Vive Le Vegan (Dreena Burton)
Notes/Substitutions: As a vegetable mixture, I used mostly zucchini and fennel (as stated in the recipe) and used small quanitites each of red onion, cremini mushroom, red bell pepper. I used the Cannelini bean and Yam quinoa from Vive Le Vegan (suggested in the recipe as an option)
Review: It wasn't bad. In fact, it was pretty good and I will finish the leftovers. My mom, a fellow quinoa-hater, also liked it pretty well but had some issues with the fact I used red peppers so she will not eat any more. On strictly taste alone, I would give this dish a B. But it still has a taste potentional of an A with a few changes:
- Use a different hummus. The cannelini/yam hummus with the vegetables is an odd combination to me. The sweet, smoky dip (which is fabulous with rice crackers and cucumbers, by the way) with the naturally sweet vegetables just didn't seem to fit just right for me. I think a plain ol' chickpea-lemon juice-garlic-tahini hummus or a scallion hummus would be nice.
- Use a different vegetable mixture. This was my first try at fennel and it was good, but not something to jump up and down about (at least in this combo). So I think next time I'd try mostly zucchini, mushrooms and the perfectly sweet red onions. Any onion would probably do, but I was pleasantly surprised at the taste the red onion took on when roasted.
- Use less oil. I had a lot of vegetables, so I went with the 2 tbsp olive oil. I could taste the oil too much. I think I'd reduce it by at least half next time, probably even to 2 tsp. You really don't need that much oil to get a good roasted vegetable.
I border between B and B- because it's not pretty. Sure, that's not the most important thing about a meal, but I like pretty food. I can't help it. It does weigh in on the grade.
So, while it wasn't a stellar success, my first dish in the quinoa quest taught me that at least I'm not destined to be a quinoa-hater for all eternity.