Quinoa Enchilada Bake

My friend recently introduced me to the wonderful world of quinoa. At first I thought it was merely health food and I didn’t want to have anything to do with it, but then I realized you can substitute it for almost any grain or pasta. Perfect!

I like to think that we eat pretty healthy in our household. However, my husband is always on a quest to eat fewer unhealthy carbs and told me I should make quinoa for supper. I was still avoiding it because I thought it would be hard to find in our area. Boy, was I wrong. They have several types at our local grocery store, and I figured if people in a small town buy this stuff, it is worth trying.

My first attempt was not very good. I was slightly discouraged and wondered what the heck I was going to do with the rest of the box. Then my friend sent me this recipe for Quinoa Enchilada Bake. It was an instant favorite! I always put my own twists on recipes and rarely follow the seasoning directions. But I do recommend using the recipe below:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 cup frozen corn 
  • juice of 1 small lime
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/3 cup chopped, fresh cilantro
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups red enchilada sauce
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
  • Toppings: Sliced green onions, avocado slices, sour cream (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray or butter.

Cook the quinoa in water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes then turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.

In a large skillet, heat the tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat (I don’t usually measure my olive oil and add to the pan as needed). Add the onion, garlic and jalapeño. Sauté until softened. Add the bell peppers and corn. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add the lime juice, cumin, chili powder and cilantro. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa and black beans. Add the sautéed vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the enchilada sauce. Add 1/2 cup shredded cheese.

Pour the black bean and quinoa mixture into the greased baking dish.

Top with remaining shredded cheese. Cover pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

Top with toppings. I didn’t add any because it is delicious without!

I like to add my own twist to the recipe. My husband would never admit to eating a vegetarian meal so we always add meat or have meat as part of this meal. Chicken breast or ground turkey is a tasty addition.

I substituted Mexican cheese with Monterey jack or pepper jack.

Instead of mixing all ingredients together, layer meat, quinoa and sauce, pepper mixture, and cheese like a lasagna. If you don’t like jalapeño, I suggest a small can of green chilies. For this particular meal I used cheddar and added a can of Rotel and mixed all the ingredients together.

Enjoy!

Quinoa Enchilada Bake
A quinoa twist on a Tex-Mex favorite!

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Ingredients
• 1 cup uncooked quinoa,rinsed
• 2 cups water
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 small onion, diced
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed,diced
• 1 red pepper, seeds removed, diced
• 1 orange pepper, seeds removed, diced
• 1 cup corn frozen kernels
• Juice of 1 small lime
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 tablespoon chili powder
• 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
• 2 cups red enchilada sauce
• 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
• Toppings: Sliced green onions, avocado slices, sour cream, optional

Instructions
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray or butter.
• Cook quinoa in water with a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes then turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
• In a large skillet, heat the tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. (I don’t usually measure my olive oil and add to the pan as needed.) Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Saute until softened. Add peppers and corn. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add the lime juice, cumin, chili powder, and cilantro. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
• In a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa and black beans. Add the sautéed vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the enchilada sauce. Add 1/2 cup shredded cheese.
• Pour the black bean and quinoa mixture into the greased baking dish. Top with remaining shredded cheese. Cover pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Top with toppings.

Adapted from By Sarah K.
Adapted from By Sarah K.
Mama Say What?! http://www.mamasaywhat.com/

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