Sunday, August 18, 2013

Recipe: Mexican Quinoa Casserole

I plan our meals for the week on Sundays, as most people do. I check my Pinterest board for one or two new recipes to try, as well as making recipes we like. I thought I'd share my favorite summer recipe. It has been my go-to recipe. My mom made it in the beginning of the summer and I was hooked! Being a busy mommy it's one I can keep in the fridge and eat for a healthy, filling lunch during the week. The fresh avocado on top is a must. It's so easy to make because most of the cooking is done in the oven and there is minimal prep time.

Mexican Quinoa Casserole
Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup uncooked quinoa (I rinse first)
28 oz diced tomatoes, with liquid (I use half plus diced tomatoes with chilis for additional flavor. It really doesn't make it spicy)
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional, I omit)
1 tablespoon tomato paste or ketchup (I use Trader Joe's ketchup)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (I omit when making for kids)
salt and freshly ground pepper
19 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
11 oz can corn kenels, with liquid
3 cups baby spinach
Toppings of choice: vegan sour cream, avocado, cilantro, vegan cheese, etc
(I use avocado and organic shredded cheese)

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium frying pan (or oven-safe casserole dish). Add onion and garlic, and saute until translucent, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat; and transfer to oven-safe casserole dish if not already using one.
3. Add quinoa, diced tomatoes (with juice), water, nutritional yeast, tomato paste (or ketchup), and spices. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
4. Cover and place in oven and set timer for 30 minutes
5. Carefully remove casserole from oven and stir in drained beans and corn (with liquid). If the liquid looks dry, add a half cup of water. (I use half the liquid of corn and I have never needed to add more water).
6. Return to oven with lid and set timer for another 30 minutes.
7. Carefully remove casserole from oven and stir in spinach. It will wilt from heat.
8. Top with sour cream, diced avocado, cheese, and/or cilantro and serve.
* If freezing: make full recipe, but leave out the spinach and toppings. Let cool and freeze in airtight containers. To serve: defrost fully, lightly reheat (in microwave or on stovetop), stir in spinach and add toppings of choice.


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