I think that I might be a little behind by posting this Mexican-inspired recipe now, seeing as how last Sunday was Cinco de Mayo. But it is almost Friday, so that is reason enough to celebrate again, right? This time, however, you can celebrate with a Mexican-inspired meal that is likely lower on the calories and higher on the veggie intake.
As I mentioned about a week ago, I am working on cooking through my stack of recipes from magazines. While digging through this pile, I found a recipe for a Southwest Quinoa bake that includes chicken. I decided to use the recipe as inspiration to develop my own Southwest Quinoa Bake, but without the meat. I think it turned out pretty darn tasty!
Southwest Quinoa Bake
Adapted from the Health 2013 issue of the Hy-Vee Seasons magazine.
olive oil cooking spray
1/2 cup quinoa, dry
1 cup water (for cooking quinoa)
water, for cooking
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 yellow onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into half moons
1/2 cup bell peppers, diced (I used red and orange)
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 medium zucchini, diced
1/2 of a 4 oz can of diced green chilies*
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp coriander
black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 of a 10 oz can of diced tomatoes with chilies, drained (I used Rotel brand)*
1/2 tsp sriracha sauce
1 TB Bragg’s liquid aminos or light soy sauce
1/3 cup shredded part-skim Mexican cheese
*I would definitely double this recipe if you are cooking for more than one person in order to use the entire can of the chilies and tomatoes.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray small baking dish with olive oil spray.
2. Cook quinoa according to package directions.
3. In a large skillet, heat a thin layer of water over medium-high heat until very hot. Once hot, lower the heat to medium and add garlic, onions, carrots, peppers, celery, and zucchini. Cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until softened. Add additional water, as necessary.
4. Stir in chilies and seasonings and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
5. Lower the heat to medium-low. Add vegetable broth, tomatoes, sriracha sauce, liquid aminos, and cooked quinoa. Stir until well-combined.
6. Once all of the ingredients are warm, spoon the vegetable and quinoa mixture into the baking dish. Top with cheese and bake, uncovered, for approximately 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
If desired, you can top your Southwest Quinoa Bake with additional cheese, salsa, sour cream, and/or guacamole. Now that I think about it, I totally regret the fact that I did not mix in some avocado before I ate it. I guess there is always next time, right?
I have tried many quinoa and vegetable dishes over the past year and a half since becoming a vegetarian, but this is one of the only ones that has had a spicy, Mexican flare to it. I pretty much never tire of Mexican food, so I am thinking that this dish may have to become a regular in my cooking routine.
And to continue with the theme of celebration…I am happy to announce that I have decided to attend this year’s Healthy Living Summit! The location is in Minnesota, and I figure that this is probably the closest that it will ever be to me for the next several years. Therefore, I am taking the plunge (financially, that is) and plan to register for the event when registration begins at the end of the month.
And so, I leave you with a proposition. For the sake of saving money, I am looking for a roomie! If you happen to be interested, please e-mail me at email@example.com
Have a fabulous Friday tomorrow, everyone!