I love quinoa! There, I’ve said it. I love quinoa salad and always looking for new ways to cook with this protein-rich, healthy grain. This Mexican Quinoa Casserole is now an honored member of my recipe collection. I made the recipe without the ground beef and taco seasoning, enjoying every wonderful bite! If you are vegan, make it without the ground beef and substitute a vegan cheese. If you’re a meat lover, go for the whole enchilada…um, I mean casserole!
MEXICAN QUINOA CASSEROLE
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 14.5 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup canned corn
1/4 cup green chiles
1/4 cup salsa
1/3 cup broth (vegetable or chicken)
1 cup toasted quinoa
1 pound lean ground beef (optional)
2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix (optional)
3/4 cup water (optional)
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
chopped fresh cilantro
wedge of fresh limes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix together the tomatoes, black beans, corn, chiles, salsa, broth, and quinoa. Pour into a greased 2 quart baking dish and cover with baking lid or foil.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove and stir and bake another 30 minutes.
While the quinoa is baking, brown the ground beef. Add taco seasoning and water. Simmer until water has evaporated. Stir in beef mixture with quinoa mixture. Top with grated cheese and brown under the broiler.
Serve with sides of sour cream, fresh cilantro and lime wedges.
Memories of stuffed peppers in my Mother’s kitchen are sketchy, probably because I wasn’t fond of vegetables as a kid. My taste buds have matured with age, and I love almost all vegetables.
I decided I would experiment with stuffed peppers and loved this recipe, substituting quinoa for the rice. The result was a protein rich, yummy AND healthy dish. When I made this recipe I only had three green peppers on hand, so I made a small meatloaf with the remaining meat mixture. Fabulous! This will also be a new meatloaf recipe to add to my collection.
STUFFED GREEN PEPPERS WITH QUINOA
6 medium green peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 can (1 lb. 3 oz.) crushed or diced tomatoes
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 pounds lean ground chuck
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Precook quinoa according to package directions.
Slice off tops of green peppers and remove seeds and ribs. Rinse peppers. Chop the edible portion of the tops and set aside. Place peppers in a large pot of boiling salt water and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from water, drain, and cool slightly.
Heat olive oil in medium size skillet; add chopped onion, celery, and pepper and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, beat the egg together with the Worcestershire sauce. Add ground chuck, quinoa, and 1 cup of tomato mixture and mix well.
5. Stuff peppers with meat mixture and place in greased casserole. Pour remaining tomato mixture over the top.