Does your family get into the rut of making the same exact dishes every year for the holidays? This year I decided to think up a new recipe that could shake things up, and that could satisfy my food intolerances. To get the brainstorm going, I thought of the typical holiday comfort foods that I would be missing out on due to my gluten and dairy-free diet and discovered that the common thread in the foods I’d be missing is that they were all comfort foods baked in the oven. Then I thought about my ideal grain to base my bake around, and of course, quinoa came to mind! After some experimentation, and taking into consideration my love for mixing savory, spicy and sweet flavors, I came up with this festive and healthy Holiday Quinoa Bake!
If you’ve been looked at food topics on Pinterest, Instagram, or any other social media recently, you’ll probably have seen lots of beautiful pictures of overnight oats. Yes they are super-photogenic 🙂 but they’re also a delicious, nutritious, and fun breakfast! Not to mention a great option for those of us on gluten-free or dairy-free diets.
“Overnight oats”, as they’re known in the US, are actually nothing new. When I was living in Europe, I came across them often in the form of Bircher Meusli. They just didn’t come in a pretty mason jar. The original recipe was introduced around 1900 by the Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner as a combination of raw rolled oats soaked in water overnight, lemon juice, cream, apple pieces, and hazelnuts or almonds. The doctor created the dish for patients in his hospital, where a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables was an essential part of therapy. It was inspired by a similar “strange dish” that he and his wife had been served on a hike in the Swiss Alps.