Sweet Potato Spinach Quinoa Papaya Seed Casserole

I went to visit my mother last week. After a warm hug and an obligatory cookie we sat down to catch up on my uneventful life. All seemed well and fine until we got to the topic of what she had been up to. I couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow when I heard, cooking.

My mother does not cook. Well, she does cook. She can cook. But she can’t cook. 

My childhood was filled with burnt grilled cheese, overcooked eggs, and pancakes that would make you cringe. (Really, pancakes. The woman messed up pancakes.)

In her defense, she was a busy mom. And she did make a brisket once. I think it turned out okay, but I can’t say for sure.

Anyways, apparently a woman who lives in her neighborhood threw a party and she felt inspired. So, she “ran home and just started throwing things together”.

Sweet potato spinach quinoa papaya seed casserole – a mouthful to say the least. And a recipe my mother likely stole from the lady down the street.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs sweet potatoes (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup papaya seeds
  • 3 cups chopped spinach
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • 2 tbsp margarine
  • 1 tbsp potato starch
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (1/2 if you’re feelin’ frisky)

Step One – Prep Potatoes

DSC_0004 (2)DSC_0006 (2)Preheat oven to 400 degree’s. Slice potatoes and spread evenly onto a pan. If you don’t have a regular cookie sheet, use a pizza-shaped one like I did. Drizzle oil over slices and roast for 20 minutes or until slices are tender and starting to caramelize. Once removed, reduce oven heat to 350.

Step Two – The Innards

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Combine quinoa and vegetable broth in pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Once cooked, fluff, add spinach and papaya seeds, and let sit for five minutes.

 

Step Three – Put It Together

DSC_0021 (2)Grease pan (coconut oil) and layer sweet potatoes. Spread mix over first layer, add remaining potatoes to sides or create a top layer.

Step Four – The Goo

DSC_0012 (2)Grind saffron threads, add 2 tbsp of hot water, and let soak. If you don’t have a mortal and pestle, a rolling pin works. If you don’t have a rolling pin, use a shoe. If you don’t have a shoe, I’m sorry.

DSC_0019 (2)Melt margarine in a sauce pan, whisking in potato starch to form a paste. Add coconut milk, salt, garlic, cayenne pepper, and saffron water – whisking until it forms a golden yellow sauce.

 

 

Step Five – The Finishing Touch

DSC_0027 (2)Pour sauce over dish, bake for 20 minutes, then broil until top is brown.

Serve warm!DSC_0030 (2)

 

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-Schmaltz