Monday, February 23, 2015

Slow Cooker Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

CONFESSION: The first time I ever had quinoa was just a few weeks ago. I didn’t have anything against it – I just never went out of my way to try it. In fact, I pronounced it “qwinn-oh-a” up until last year (embarrassing, I know).

But then I saw this recipe on Cooking Classy, and I knew I wanted to try it. I’m in the middle of a Tex-Mex kick and I’m craving anything and everything Southwestern.

This casserole is so easy to put together – it’s another one of those dishes that you mix up and cook right in the crockpot. And it’s very filling! Between the quinoa and the black and pinto beans there are about 24 grams of protein per serving.

This dish is perfect for Fridays during Lent or Meatless Mondays or if you’re just looking for a heart healthy dish in general.

Slow Cooker Quinoa Enchilada Casserole
Yield: 8 servings

·      1 Tablespoon olive oil
·      1 medium yellow onion, chopped (or about 1 and 1/4 cups)
·      1 medium red bell pepper, chopped or about (1 and 1/4 cups)
·      3 Tablespoons minced garlic
·      2 and 1/4 cups vegetable broth
·      1 and 1/2 cups dry quinoa
·      1 (14.5 ounce) can tomatoes with green chilies (do not drain)
·      1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
·      2 Tablespoon chili powder
·      1 and 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
·      1 (15.2 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
·      1 (14.5 ounce) can black beans, drained
·      1 (14.5 ounce) can pinto beans, drained
·      1 1/2 cups fat free cheddar cheese or 2% Mexican blend cheese

For serving (optional)
·      Diced avocados, chopped cilantro, salsa, chopped green onions

·      Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper and saute 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute 30 more seconds. Pour mixture into slow cooker.
·      Stir in vegetable broth, dry quinoa, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder and cumin.
·      Cover and cook on HIGH heat about 2 hours 30 minutes - 2 hours 45 minutes (keep an eye on it toward the end so it doesn’t start to burn on the edges).
·      Add corn, black beans and pinto beans and mix.
·      Sprinkle the cheese on top. Cover and cook until heated through and cheese has melted, about 10 minutes longer.
·      Add additional toppings if desired.

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