Monday, August 11, 2014

Giving Quinoa a Good Name...Again

Good evening everyone!  I'm starting off this week where we left off from last week's theme of 'Mexican in different formats' with a unique take on an enchilada.  While the typical enchilada consists of lots of sauce, some sort of meat, and tortillas, mine has one of those things.  And while there's nothing wrong with that, it's definitely worth trying something different.  This Mexican dish is vegetarian friendly and you can gobble it up, without a guilty feeling about it.

The Recipe:  Quinoa Enchilada Casserole
Orignal Recipe Adapted From:

What You'll Need:
1 Cup Quinoa
1 Can (10 Ounces) mild Enchilada Sauce
1 can (4.5 Ounces) chopped Green Chiles, drained
1/2 Cup canned Corn kernels, drained
1/2 Cup canned Black Beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tablespoons fresh Cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder
3/4 Cup shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided
3/4 Cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided

To start, rinse the quinoa in a fine sieve until the water runs clean.  Place the quinoa in a medium saucepan and add two cups of water to pan.  Place the saucepan over high heat to bring to a boil, then cover and drop the temperature to medium-low.  Cook the quinoa for 15-20 minutes, then take off the heat.  Let the pan stand for five minutes and fluff with a fork.  Cover with the lid to the pan and set aside.  While the quinoa is cooking, preheat an oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly coat a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.

Once the quinoa has cooled, combine it, along with enchilada sauce, green chiles, corn, black beans, cilantro, cumin, and chili powder, in a large mixing bowl.  Season with salt and pepper, if necessary.  Next, stir in 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese until everything is well combined.

Transfer the quinoa mixture to the prepped baking dish and spread evenly.  Top with the remaining cheddar and mozzarella cheeses.  Place in the oven and bake until cooked through and the cheeses have melted and started to bubble, about 15 minutes.  After cooking, top with diced tomatoes and avocados (if desired,) serve, and enjoy!

The End Result:

While this dish lacks in meat, it does not lack in flavor.  All the flavor that's packed into tortillas, is out in the open and fully surrounds the quinoa.  While my quinoa didn't soak up as much water as it should have, made for a soupier end result.  The solution was found in tortilla chips.  The casserole ended up being a dip and the crunchy texture from the chips was perfect.  You could almost create a stacked dish with a layer of the casserole, topped with a layer of tortilla chips.  Either way, it's almost like these two were meant to be together.  If you're concerned by any heat potential, this dish is safe for mouths that light up from the slightest hint of fire.  The quinoa is also low in caloric value, so you don't have to feel bad about seconds (or thirds or fourths!)  Overall, a great, low-cal, vegetarian dish that is great to add to your Mexican arsenal!

Thanks for joining us tonight.  This week, we'll continue with another Burger of Summer and an Italian favorite turned vegetarian.  Until then,


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