Fall Veggie Bake that will satisfy the meat eaters

A comment left on a post from yesterday really got my wheels a turnin'. As a Dutch mid-westerner I am oh-so familiar with meat and potato lovin' men and women. I can remember many-a Sunday, sitting around the table after church with my family, and usually extended family, partaking in the beloved meal of meat, potatoes, and apple sauce. Oh, and overcooked beans and creamed 'spara-grass' (aka asparagus). We used our best china, which we kept in the hutch, separate from our everyday dishes. My Grandpa Harvey, whom I love and miss, would put apple sauce on his mashed potatoes, and shoot me his cute, mischievous smile while my dearest grandma would do all the talking. I would stare at his pointer finger - amazed and a little disturbed, knowing that before my time, it was cut off in a lawn mower and sewed back on; crooked. I always wanted to ask him to tell the story, but never dared. 

Oh how I treasure those memories. And though it wasn't the healthiest of meals, it sure did nourish a deeper part of me. 

This dish has that same warming, grounding, indulgent effect, but is a veggie based dish. You can add meat in - ground turkey, sausage, or chicken. Or you can leave it all veggie. Either way, it is delicious, and a great way to get your meat lovin' men to enjoy eating their veggies. 

Ingredient Highlight: Turmeric

Turmeric is a member of the ginger family, and is cultivated in tropical countries. It has a peppery, warm flavor with a mild fragrance reminiscent of orange and ginger. Turmeric is the main ingredient used in curry powder and is also used in mustard. In this dish, turmeric is used in the brown rice, which gives the rice a delicious flavor and yellow color. Curcumin, in turmeric, is the yellow pigment that is also responsible for it's amazing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It's antioxidant properties have been shown to protect healthy cells from free radicals that can damage cellular DNA and lead to cancer. Curcumin has also been shown to inhibit the growth of tumors. 1

Cancer fighting, inflammation reducing, Fall Veggie Bake


2 T. - coconut oil
2 - garlic cloves, minced
1 medium - onion
1 c. - brown rice or grain of choice
1 t. - turmeric
2 c. - water + 1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 bunch - swiss chard, kale, or collard greens, chopped
1-2 - other root veggies, chopped (carrots, parsnip, rutabaga, celery root, beet, etc.) 
1/2 - squash, sliced thin OR 2 - sweet potatoes, sliced thin
3 c. or 2 cans - cooked beans of choice (black, adzuki, chickpea, etc.) 
optional: meat of choice (ground turkey, sausage, chicken)  
2 T. - chili powder
1 c. - Monterey jack cheese
2 - avocados, diced


  1. In a large saucepan, heat 1 T. coconut oil over medium heat. Sauté 1 minced garlic clove, and onion; 3-5 minutes. Add uncooked brown rice (or grain of choice), and turmeric; sauté another 3-5 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil, then down to a simmer, covered, until liquid is absorbed, about 40 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Then fluff with a fork.
  3. While rice cooks, heat 1 T. coconut oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add garlic and chopped root veggies; 3-5 minutes. Add chopped chard or greens of choice, gently sauté until greens are wilted. Do not overcook greens.
  4. In a bowl, mix 3 c. beans and chili powder.
  5. If using meat, cook over the stove in a pan with 1 T. coconut oil, sea salt, and pepper. Mix into bowl with black beans and chili powder.
  6. Thinly slice the peeled squash or sweet potatoes, layer on the bottom of a 2-quart casserole pan.
  7. Layer remaining ingredients as follows: half of chard, all of beans (and meat), all of rice, remainder chard. Top with cheese. Bake at 375 for 30-45 minutes.
  8. Top with avocado for serving.


1. Murray, Michael, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York: Atria Books, 2005. 521-23. Print.