Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

IMG_2646editI made this SUPER simple dish and people haven’t stopped asking me about it. If you want a less spicy version, skip the green chiles.  The chiles and enchilada sauce are usually in the same section of the grocery store as the taco shells.  I served this on a bed of lettuce, but it can be delicious standalone, with chips as a dip or in a burrito.

Unlike meat, fish, and eggs, which contain all the essential protein building blocks (amino acids), vegetarian protein sources are typically low in one or more essential amino acid. Quinoa is the exception! This South American grass contains all 9 essential amino acids.

Due to the “completeness” of its protein, quinoa sometimes gets mislabeled as a high protein food. If you’re looking for high protein foods, be aware that quinoa actually has a similar protein content to whole grain brown rice. Regardless, quinoa is a very healthy and smart food choice.

Nutritional information provided by Jessica Penner, RD at Smart Nutrition.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 (10-ounce) can Old El Paso™ mild enchilada sauce
  • 1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced

Instructions

  • In a large saucepan of 2 cups water, cook quinoa according to package instructions; set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil an 8×8 or 2 quart baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine quinoa, enchilada sauce, green chiles, corn, black beans, cilantro, cumin and chili powder; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.
  • Spread quinoa mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining cheeses. Place into oven and bake until bubbly and cheeses have melted, about 15 minutes.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with avocado and tomato, if desired.

Recipe via http://damndelicious.net/2014/07/07/quinoa-enchilada-casserole/

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