I can’t take credit for this one, guys! It came straight from Beard and Bonnet and is basically perfect as is. Beard and Bonnet specializes in gluten-free recipes, but one of the things I love most about their blog is that they usually include vegan options as well.
Other than adding a bit more salt, using quinoa instead of couscous (more protein!), and baking it altogether in one big casserole dish, I followed this recipe exactly. Next time, I think I’ll try omitting the Parmesan, just to make it vegan (you can also top with Parma per the recipe). I’m thinking it would be good with some bread crumbs on top instead, and I don’t think we’d miss the Parmesan. You could probably replace the couscous with rice, too, if that’s what you have on hand.
Following is the recipe, reprinted from Beard and Bonnet. And you should totally check out their website! They have some great recipes.
White Bean, Spinach, and Couscous Bake
Serves 5 as a main course
1 box of brown rice Couscous, prepared as directed or substitute quinoa (about 2 cups of any grain)
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes, drained but juice reserved
1 can of cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup fresh basil, minced plus an additional 2-3 Tbsp. basil for garnish, chiffonade
1/3 cup pine nuts
5 cups baby spinach
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup Trader Joe’s Creamy Toscano Cheese with Black Pepper or Parmesan, grated
*For the vegan option: Substitute Mozzarella Rice Shreds for the Creamy Toscano cheese and sprinkle the top of your dish with Parma!
Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Gently saute the onion until tender about 4-5 minutes then add the minced garlic and saute 2-3 minutes more until softened and onions are translucent. Add the drained fire roasted tomatoes and crush any large chunks with a potato masher or the back of a fork. Add the white beans and allow to cook for 5-7 minutes or until beans are warmed through, stirring frequently. Just before the beans are cooked through add the fresh spinach and gently turn and toss so that it will start to wilt, about 1-2 minutes.
In a large bowl combine 2 cups of the precooked couscous, reserved tomato juice, minced basil, pine nuts, salt and pepper; mix thoroughly. Fold the bean and tomato mixture into the couscous mixture until combined then spread half of it into the bottom of a shallow baking dish or individual ramekins. Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over the dish then top with the remaining couscous mixture. Cover the dish with foil and bake 15-25 minutes until warmed through and bubbly. At the very end of the cooking time uncover the baking dish and pop it under the broiler just to lightly brown the top, 1-2 minutes max.