Thanksgiving is a group effort.  Most hosts expect help from their guests to produce the massive amounts of food consumed on this particular holiday.  So it’s always good to have some great casserole recipes in your arsenal.  But I have to warn you that this one isn’t completely paleo. It has cheese and wine.  So of course it’s delicious!! 🙂  It is a take on a risotto. This is a vegetarian side dish, but you could make it a main dish by simply adding some chicken.  Store bought rotisserie chicken comes in very handy to add some protein to a recipe like this, whip up a hearty soup or throw together a quick salad. Oh, and you can substitute broccoli for the asparagus if you prefer.  I hope you are thankful for this recipe.

Author: The Scrumptious Pumpkin  (I love that name!)
Recipe type: Healthy Vegetarian Dish
Total Time: 45 minutes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Difficulty: Intermediate
  • 2 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1½ cups quinoa
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 8 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut into quarter-inch pieces
  • 4 ounces crimini (“baby bella”) mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 1⅓ cups parmesan, freshly grated
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Place vegetable broth in a heat-safe bowl and microwave until hot but not boiling, about 2 minutes. Cover and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until lightly softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add another tablespoon olive oil along with the quinoa. Cook, stirring often, until quinoa is lightly toasted, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the white wine and adjust the heat to a light simmer. Allow wine to cook and reduce, about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Pour about 2 ladles of the vegetable broth into the saucepan and allow it to simmer lightly, stirring often.
  6. When the broth has cooked down and reduced so that there is only about ⅓ of the broth left in the pot, add another 1-2 ladles of broth.
  7. Repeat this process, stirring often, until quinoa is cooked through, about 18-20 minutes. (A spiral germ will be visible around each individual grain when the quinoa is ready.)
  8. While the quinoa is cooking, heat one tablespoon olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the asparagus and cook until lightly softened but still crisp, about 3- 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook about 2 minutes longer, Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
  9. Add the asparagus and mushrooms to the quinoa, along with 1 cup grated parmesan. Also add 3 tablespoons olive oil. Stir until cheese is completely melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, topping each plate with additional parmesan.

Nutrition Information:

Serving size: 6

Calories: 435

Fat: 17.8g

Saturated fat: 2.8g

Carbohydrates: 47.8g

Sugar: 2g

Sodium: 260mg

Fiber: 4g

Protein: 15.9g

Cholesterol: 9mg