Southwest Quinoa Bake!

I love quinoa! It’s so easy to prepare, it’s  healthy, and it’s delicious! It has omega-3’s, monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, minerals, AND it’s a complete protein. So much good packed into a funny looking grain with a funny looking name and an even funnier pronunciation: Keen-wah!

When I ran across a recipe for Southwest Quinoa I immediately put it at the top of my “GF recipes to try” list.

So last night I lined up my veggies, put a pot on for the quinoa, and browned some ground local organic ground beef to use in place of the diced chicken the recipe calls for (remember, my journey is about building iron).  I think this would be great with the addition of some black beans too, but I’ll save that for next time (yes, there will be a next time for this recipe!).  The dish came together easily: cook, chop, brown, saute, mix and bake!

Now, I suppose I should have taken a picture, but I’m not a very good photographer (that’s my brothers business so I didn’t! Which is sad because pictures of recipes are MY motivation to make them. I’m just not used to documenting the things I do (thus I’m not a very good blogger, either). So, in lieu of a picture just close  your eyes and picture a beautiful, piping hot dish of quinoa, veggies, beef, and melty cheese being pulled from your oven. Those around you ooohh, and aaahh at your culinary skill. Inhale the aroma of chili powder, cumin, coriander, and garlic. A perfect meal for a cold Winter night!

Kevin and I judge recipes based on the: “would you make it again?” rule. We agreed we would. It’s a keeper. And the leftovers are great for lunch!

So, no picture, no elegant prose, but here is a delicious, nutritious casserole:

Southwest Quinoa

2 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth
3/4 Cup Quinoa, uncooked
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1  Cup Diced Onion
1 Cup Diced Carrot
1 Cup Diced Red Bell Pepper
1/2 Cup Diced Celery
4 Ounce can Diced Green Chile
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic
14 1/2 Ounces Diced Tomatoes
2 Cups Cooked Chicken, diced (I used 1 lb ground beef, browned)
1 Cup Mexican Blend Cheese, grated
1.    Preheat oven to 350. Bring 1 1/2 cup chicken broth to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan. Add quinoa; return to a boil, cover and cook over medium heat 12 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed all the broth. Remove from heat, fluff, cover and set aside.
2.    Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, red bell pepper, celery and chilies; saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, coriander, and black pepper; saute 2 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute.
3.    Add remaining 1 cup chicken broth, diced tomatoes, chicken (or beef!) and prepared quinoa. Stir to combine.
4.    Pour mixture into a greased 13×9 baking dish. Top with shredded cheese. Bake 30 minutes or until heated through.

Copied from Hy-Vee seasons magazine


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