Quinoa Mexican Casserole with Enchilida Sauce and the Unexpected Hailstorm !


Admit it when it comes to quinoa, we need any number of recipes we can get . Naturally gluten free , it is the only plant food that is complete protein and a nutrition powerhouse. Rich in magnesium among other essential minerals and loaded with antioxidants , it literally begs to be included in our diet . But this is where the challenge comes . There are not many quinoa recipes to go around. So , when I came across this one from twopeasandtheirpod.com, I knew it deserved a serving on my dinner table too. Once I set up my mind for something, baking in particular  , little can dissuade me ..no , not even a hailstorm . 
Let's talk about the hailstormnow . We had a major unexpected one . While I was grocery shopping for the ingredients of this particular bake, the roof of our supermarket was being pelted so hard that many a weaker soul were having a slight look of panic about them. Of course, the fact that the roof starting leaking and flooding one aisle might have contributed to the above mentioned panic. But , as you might have guessed, I am made of sterner stuff and hailing or not , I had to hurry back home and give this bake a try . So, when I saw half of my front windshield covered with the aftereffects of the hailstorm , I just gave it a mechanical swish and headed home.

Here is what you guys need to do in order to serve it at your dinner table -

Ingredients
1 cup quinoa ( I used tricolor one)
2 cups water
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1 onion chopped
1 jalapeno pepper , chopped ( I used the pickled one)
2 bell peppers diced ( different colors would be great)
1 cup corn kernels ( frozen one would do just fine)
2 cups Mexican cheese
1 1/2 cups enchilida sauce ( I used medium  , you may try mild )
1 can black beans
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp chili powder
3 tbsp  lime juice
Salt and pepper according to taste
Spring  onions/scallions  and sour cream for garnishing


Method -
As with any other bake, we need to pre heat the oven . For this bake , the temperature would be 350 degrees F or 180 Degrees C.
Also, grease a rectangular pyrex dish , preferably a 9 X 13 one and set aside. 
Cook the quinoa till if fully absorbs the water and cover it.
Meanwhile , take the oil in a pan and saute the onions, garlic and jalapeno .
When they are slightly soft , add  the diced peppers and corn. Continue to saute for another few minutes.
Now , add the lime juice , cumin , chilli, salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, add the black beans and cooked quinoa along with the enchilida sauce.
Add the sauteed vegetables along with half of the cheese.Give it a good stir and transfer to the greased baking dish.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese on the top and cover it with aluminium foil.
Bake for 20 minutes covered , then remove the foil and then let it bake for another 10 minutes.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a garnishing of spring onions.

Tip - When you are going to put so much effort chopping the veggies , might as well double the recipes and bake two casseroles. By going  for a double batch , the oven will be used more efficiently and you can  freeze one for later . That's what I did ..though did not get a chance to freeze ..kids wanted it as lunch too..so there went my second !

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