If you’re familiar with this blog, you know how much we love quinoa. We already made bread, patties, soup, frittata, more patties, salad and tabbouleh with quinoa. Apparently, quinoa fits in almost any dish we’re cooking. Which got me thinking...maybe I should change the name of the blog from “TheIronYou” to “TheIronQuinoa” or “TheQuinoaYou”. Doesn’t sound bad, at all. I’ll give it a thought.
In the meantime (I’m still debating with myself whether changing the name or not) I’m making an awesome casserole with quinoa. Lots of spices, lots of veggies, lots of quinoa and a bit of oozing cheese to make you crave. Awesomeness.
Basically this is your classic Mexican Turkey (or Chicken) Casserole, minus the meat, plus the quinoa. No joke.
If you’re not very fond of quinoa (and you should ask yourself why), this casserole is a good way to hide and make yourself enjoy it. Trust.
The folks over at Corazonas recently contacted me for a review of their tortilla chips. They sent some samples of their chips in three different flavors: Lightly Salted, Black Bean and Cheese, and Squeeze of Lime.
Corazonas are different from the other tortillas available on the market because they are infused with cholesterol-lowering plant sterols (over 140 clinical studies show that plant sterols may help naturally reduce cholesterol when consumed at beneficial amounts). I’m normally not very keen on snacking but Corazonas’ health claims spiked my curiosity, thus I decided to give it a-go.
I tried all the flavors and my favorite was (by far) the Black Bean and cheese. They also proved to be the perfect companions for this quinoa casserole. If you are interested in giving them a try head on over to their website.
I’m showing you my hand dipping a Corazonas Black Bean and Cheese chip into this yummy mountain of Spicy Mexican Quinoa Casserole goodness, you won’t be disappointed with this combo.
Inspired by PinchofYum and adapted from CookingLight
2 cups cooked quinoa (you’ll need about 1 cup / 6 oz / 170 gr of uncooked quinoa)
1 medium onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 8 oz / 225 gr can tomato sauce
1 medium tomato, diced
2 jalapenos, seeds and ribs removed, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
pinch of red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
ground black pepper
2 bell peppers, chopped (I used one red and one yellow)
1 cup / 4 oz / 113 gr Mexican cheese (or sharp cheddar or vegan cheese), shredded
handful spring onions
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) and lightly grease a 8x8 baking dish.
In a skillet over medium heat add oil, garlic and onion. Saute’ for about 3 minutes.
Add chopped tomato, tomato sauce, red pepper flakes, jalapenos, salt and pepper. Stir and let simmer on low heat for 7 minutes.
In a dry nonstick skillet over medium high heat, toss and toast quinoa with cayenne pepper, chili powder and cumin for 2 minutes. Taste and season with salt. Set aside.
In the same skillet over medium-high heat, place the diced peppers and DO NOT stir. This allows the peppers to get the brown roasted look on the outside. Wait for 2 to 3 minutes before stirring, then let them roast for another 2 minutes before removing from the heat. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine tomato mixture, quinoa, ½ of the shredded cheese and ½ of the bell peppers.
Transfer quinoa mixture to baking dish, top with remaining bell peppers and cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and garnish with green onions.
Serve with tortilla chips, salad, sour cream or just eat it plain.
One serving of this Spicy Mexican Quinoa Casserole (which is very filling) scores 247 calories, 11.8 grams of fat, 25.8 grams of carbs and 10.4 grams of protein.