1 large bunch of kale, either curly kale or dinosaur kale
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 medium sized head of cauliflower cut into bite-sized florets
8 ounces shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons dijon mustard (such as Grey Poupon)
1 teaspoon coarse salt plus more, to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more, to taste
1 teaspoon onion powder, optional
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Pull the kale leaves off the thick stems and tear them into bite sized pieces, rinse leaves, spin or pat dry (they don’t have to be completely dry) and spread kale leaves out on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over kale and use your hand to massage the oil into the leaves. Roast kale in the center of the oven for 15-20 minutes, tossing after ten minutes, until tender and crisp on the edges. Set aside.
While the kale is roasting, put the quinoa in a large saucepan (large enough to hold all the cauliflower too) and add cold water so the pot is about 2/3 of the way filled. Turn the heat to high. Once boiling, turn the heat down to a gentle boil and set the timer for 7 minutes. When the timer goes off, add the cauliflower florets and once again turn the heat to high. Set the timer again for 7 minutes. Drain the quinoa and cauliflower and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add roasted kale and toss. Add most of the cheese, setting aside a handful to sprinkle on top. Add the milk, mustard, 1 teaspoon of salt or to taste, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper or to taste, and onion powder, if using. Toss well to combine.
Turn the oven down to 350ºF. Transfer the mixture to a 2-quart casserole. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake in upper third of the oven for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crisp in spots. If you like the top to be extra crisp and brown, turn on the broiler for a minute or two, watching carefully to prevent burning.
Keywords: vegetarian cheesy cauliflower casserole, cauliflower casserole with kale, quinoa and cheddar