Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Southwestern Quinoa Casserole


       Everytime I make a new quinoa recipe I am constantly reminded why I am so in love with it. It's versatile,packs a great protein punch and you can use it in place of recipes that call for rice. If you haven't tried using it yet,please give this recipe a try. It's so good. 

Here's what is great about this can change it up however you like. You can make it all vegetarian by replacing the chicken with a meat replacement,you can leave out what you want and add in what you prefer. I left the jalapeno out but added in diced zucchini. They don't sell fire roasted tomatoes over here so I used regular without any missing flavor issues. The first time we tasted this we all said how great this would be inside of a tortilla or wraped in lettuce leaves with some black olives and sour cream. You can certainly add the olives and serve with sour cream in this recipe aswell if you want. It's really that versatile!

Southwestern Quinoa Casserole

1 cup Quinoa,rinsed
2 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
2 Boneless skinless Chicken Breasts,chopped into 1 inch cubes
1 pkt Taco Seasonings,divided
1 medium Onion,diced
1/2 of a Jalapeno,seeds and ribs removed,diced
1 Red Bell Pepper,seeds and ribs removed,diced
1 Clove Garlic,minced
1-1/2 TBS Oil
1 cup Frozen Corn..I used canned
1-14 oz can Black Beans,drained and rinsed
1-14 oz can Regular or Fire Roasted Tomatoes,drained
1/3 cup Small Curd Cottage Cheese
1-1/2 cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese,divided
1 TBS Cilantro

Preheat oven to 400 or 200 celcius. Grease a 13x9 inch pan and set aside. Place chicken stock in a medium sauce pan and add quinoa. Bring to a boil,then cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 mins, or until quinoa is cooked and the liquid is absorbed. Set aside.

Place oil in pan,sautee onion,pepper,jalapeno and garlic until onions are translucent and veggies are tender. Add in diced chicken and 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning; cook until chicken is no longer pink,about 8 mins ( if you prefer you can take out the onion mixture and set it to the side while you cook your chicken. I just prefer to cook everything together at the same time.)

In a alrge bowl,combine cooked quinoa,chicken mixture,corn,beans,tomatoes,cilantro,cottage cheese,rest of taco seasonins and 1/2 cup cheese. Pour into prepared pan and spread the mixture out evenly. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top.

Bake incovered for 20 mins or until cheese is melted.

Yield: 6-8 servings
Source: CenterCutCook