Quinoa Chicken Enchilada Casserole

You know we like Mexican, Tex-Mex, and American-Mex over here at our house.  I am trying to mix things up a bit and try some new recipes, so this casserole with quinoa seemed like a perfect thing to try.  First, I had to explain to my boys what quinoa even was. Smile

For your knowledge, here is what About.com has to say about quinoa:

While quinoa is usually considered to be a whole grain, it is actually a seed, but can be prepared like whole grains such as rice or barley. Try a quinoa salad recipe, or serve a vegetable stir-fry over cooked quinoa instead of rice. Quinoa is my favorite whole grain for three reasons: First, it takes less time to cook than other whole grains – just 10 to 15 minutes. Second, quinoa tastes great on its own, unlike other grains such as millet or teff. Add a bit of olive oil, sea salt and lemon juice and – yum! Finally, of all the whole grains, quinoa has the highest protein content, so it’s perfect for vegetarians and vegans. Quinoa provides all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Quinoa is a gluten-free and cholesterol-free whole grain, is kosher for Passover, and is almost always organic.

I have tried a couple new recipes with quinoa lately and I really like it.  I had to get used to the texture because it is not like anything I had eaten before, but the flavor is so bland that you can really add it to just about any meal.  So on with the recipe already. Smile

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbl olive oilIMG_0178
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2.5 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1.5 cups cooked shredded chicken breast
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chilies
  • 1 Tbl chili powder
  • 2 cups enchilada sauce (1 – 19 oz can)
  • .5 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  •  

    Directions

    1. Heat oven to 350o and spray 8 inch square dish with cooking spray.
    2. Heat 2 quart pot over medium-high heat.  Add oil and onion and cook 5 minutes, or until the onion is clear and soft.

    IMG_0179

    3.   Reduce the heat to low.  And quinoa, black beans, green chilies, chili powder and the enchilada sauce.  Stir well and remove from the heat.

    IMG_0181

    4.  Stir in the cheddar cheese and transfer to the backing dish.  Top evenly with pepper jack cheese.

    IMG_0183

    5.  Bake for 5 – 10 minutes, then broil for 1 to 2 minutes until cheese is golden and bubbly.

    6.  Garnish with any of your favorite toppings like sour cream, cilantro, green onions or Mexican crumbling cheese.

    IMG_0189

    And just for fun, I had to share this with you all…

    As I was cooking, I was munching on cucumber, and as usual, sharing my fresh veggies with my4-legged side-kicks.  Harley was so funny about the cucumber.  Of course Willow chomped it right up, but Harley would take it ever so gently and walk around the corner.  After a minute or two she would come back begging for another piece.  When I went to check on her, this is what I found:

    IMG_0184

    That silly girl had ever so carefully taken all the seeds out of the cucumber and left it on the floor.  I mean come on…even I eat the cucumber seeds.  Such a silly dog!

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