Mexican Quinoa Casserole


I was totally lost for dinner ideas last week. I had an abundance of quinoa but that was about it. A trip to the store and a few canned goods later, I had an idea. I was going to make some kind of Mexican quinoa casserole. It was great! You’ll have to forgive the loose measurements below, as I was wingin’ it.

The Food: Quinoa, Black Beans, Corn

Ingredients:

3/4 C. dry Quinoa

1 can black beans, rinsed

1 can corn, drained

1 can diced green chiles

1/2 jar salsa (I used medium)

1/2 C-ish grated cheese (I used colby jack)

Heaping spoonful fiesta ranch yogurt dip (My roommate’s concoction. Mix dry packet fiesta ranch dip w/ non-fat Greek yogurt)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

In saucepan, combine 3/4 cup dry quinoa, 1/4 t salt and 1.5 C. water. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce to a simmer for 18-20 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Stir well to make sure everything is incorporated. Pour into greased casserole dish.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top. I kicked the oven up to 375 for the last 5 minutes because I was getting impatient. *Optional, top with crumbled tortilla chips. Enjoy!

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The Food: Mexican Quinoa Casserole

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Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

There’s just something comforting about devouring a warm, cheesy casserole from the oven. What’s even better is when you know it’s a slightly healthier alternative to the original.

I first spotted this recipe for a broccoli quinoa casserole on Pinterest and knew I wanted to try it. Swapping out rice for protein-packed quinoa? Genius. I made it as is the first time around and it was delicious. When I  decided to add some embellishments the second time, it was still just as delicious.

The original recipe called for 1/3 cup of mayonnaise, but I used plain Greek yogurt instead. Can’t taste a difference. I also used almond milk instead of cow’s milk because that’s all I had in the fridge. Again, no difference. The recipe calls for a can of condensed cream of broccoli or cream of mushroom soup, but I found a roasted garlic cream of mushroom soup that I prefer. (I might even toss in some minced garlic to the casserole next time for added flavor.) The original called for 2 cups cooked broccoli, but I just bought a large head of broccoli and chopped it up and cooked it. Surely a little extra broccoli can’t hurt. 🙂 Finally, I added a can of sliced water chestnuts and about 2 cups of fresh spinach.

The Food: Broccoli, Quinoa

Ingredients:

One 10 oz can condensed cream of mushroom/broccoli/roasted garlic & mushroom soup

1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons milk (I used almond milk)

1 1/4 cups shredded cheese (I used colby jack, but you could use whatever you prefer)

1/2 teaspoon sugar (or sugar substitue)

1/4 teaspoon(ish) black pepper

Dash nutmeg

2 cups (approximately) cooked broccoli

1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained

2 cups fresh spinach

1 1/2 cups  cooked quinoa

Grated Parmesan cheese

Breadcrumbs (optional)

Directions:
To cook quinoa, combine  3/4 cup quinoa with 1 1/2 cups water and a dash of salt in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover for about 20 minutes or until quinoa tails show. Fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, place chopped broccoli in a steamer and cook 8-10 minutes until tender.

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine soup, yogurt, cheese and milk. Add sugar, pepper and nutmeg. Then add spinach and water chestnuts, broccoli and quinoa. Mix well.

Pour mixture into a casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Grate a little Parmesan cheese on top, and if you want, add some breadcrumbs for a little crunch. Bake for 35-40 minutes and enjoy!

The Fare: Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

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