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Fasting Recipe: Quinoa-Spinach Potato Bake

16 September 2012 One Comment Print article Print article

Kajal Dhabalia, a long-time disciple of Shri Anandi Ma and one of the main cooks for retreats and other events at the DYC Center in Antioch, CA, will be sharing a favorite recipe each month with Shakti Online readers. Below she offers a fantastic addition to the steadily growing list of fasting recipes in the SO archives. For many more recipes and interesting reading be sure to check out Kajal’s blog at

Navratri is one of my favorite times of the year…anusthans, deep meditations and fasting foods…foods that truly are more like feasts.

In the Cooking for the Sattvic Soul Workshop, Anandi Ma and Dileepji’s told us that there are many different forms of “fasting” out there. This particular path does not suggest depriving the body of food, but during time of intense practices like anusthans, they recommend foods that are light to digest, but still provide nourishment and fuel for the body to keep going. Click here if you want to read more about that workshop and nuggets of wisdom Dileepji shared that day. (link=

If you love scalloped potatoes, this is a great way to turn a traditional dish into healthy, protein-rich, one-pan-fasting-meal. I made this at a recent DYC retreat and all the yogis and yoginis loved it. It’s one of my favorite dishes to make on fasting days with its adequate protein because of the quinoa, a healthy dose of spinach, some potatoes to make the dish a little heartier and cheese to top it off into gooey goodness.

Depending on the season, I change up the veggies, toss in different herbs and sometimes even add another grain with the quinoa. Different types of cheese work well with it, too. Feel free to make ahead and then reheat or bake later.

Quinoa-Spinach Scalloped Potatoes Bake

Serves: 4-6


2/3 cup quinoa, uncooked

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 pounds spinach, washed and chopped

6 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 cup milk

4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled*

1⁄2 teaspoon seasoned salt for quinoa (or to taste)

1 tsp salt for potato mixture (or to taste)

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon oregano

1⁄2 teaspoon dill

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

3 tablespoons sesame seeds



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch glass or metal pie pan.

  • In a medium sauce pot, rinse 2/3 cups quinoa a few times. Fill a saucepan with 1 1/3 cups water, add salt and then bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 15 minutes and then remove from stove and put off to the side.
  • While quinoa is cooking, in a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat 1tablespoon olive oil over medium heat and then add washed/chopped spinach. Continue to saute until spinach is limp (3-5 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  • Peel and thinly slice the potatoes and set aside.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons butter in 1/2 cup milk and then set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together quinoa, feta (crumbled) and stir in the spinach mixture.
  • In another bowl, combine sliced potatoes and spices.
  • Layer half of the sliced potatoes in the greased baking pan. Then add quinoa/ spinach mixture for the next layer, and then layer with remaining potato slices. Gently pour milk/butter mixture over the top. Then top potatoes with the grated cheddar cheese and finish with sprinkling the sesame seeds on top.
  • Cover with foil (if you spray the foil with an oil spray, the cheese won’t stick to the foil) and bake in a preheated oven for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and let continue to bake for another 10 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.




You can substitute the dairy products with non-dairy products.

Rather than using feta cheese, add a little nutritional yeast to the milk mixture to give it a “cheesy” flavor.


This is completely GF! Yeah!


Adding 1 tsp ginger and 1 tsp fresh, chopped jalapeno to the quinoa mixture will help your body digest this meal better.

*Feta cheese is often made with animal rennet which is tamasic, and not appropriate for fasting. Saladena brand feta cheese, which is commonly found on the East Coast of the U.S., is made with vegetable rennet. Here is a list of other U. S. cheeses that use vegetable rennet.


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One Comment »

  • Leela said:

    I cooked this for Navratri and it was insanely delicious! Thank you for making fasting so tasty, Kajal!

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