You’ve read the articles that tell you that quinoa is good for you, but are you running out of ideas on how to incorporate it into your diet? We know that quinoa is full of protein and fibre and lots of other good stuff, and many of us have been using it for pilafs and salads for years now to reap the benefits. But, as delicious as a good quinoa salad is, this time of year most of us are craving something warm and hearty, and a grain-based salad just isn’t going to cut it.

Enter the concept of the quinoa bake. There are plenty of different types of quinoa bakes out there that can be adapted to suit any meal of the day. Some quinoa bakes result in a dryer, almost loaf-like meal that can be cut into squares, but I’m more of a fan of the cheesy, gooey variety. This Mexican-influenced quinoa casserole is cheesy enough that it will appeal to kids and others who aren’t particularly health conscious, but it’s also vegetarian and absolutely packed with quinoa, so you’ll get those superfood benefits. Try this one on your next Meatless Monday, or any other day of the week.

Enchilada Sauce:
  • c
    ¼ cup
    vegetable oil
  • c
    2 tbsp
    flour
  • c
    2 tbsp
    chili powder
  • c
    1 cup
    tomato sauce
  • c
    1 cup
    water
  • c
    ½ tsp
    cumin
  • c
    1
    clove garlic, crushed
  • c
    2 tbsp
    brown sugar
  • c
    -
    salt
  • Quinoa Bake: 
  • c
    1 cup
    uncooked quinoa
  • c
    2 cups
    water
  • c
    1 (27 ml) can
    chopped green chilies
  • c
    ¾ cup
    frozen corn kernels
  • c
    ¾ cup
    canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • c
    ¾ cup
    cheddar cheese, shredded
  • c
    ¾ cup
    mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • c
    1
    avocado
  • c
    -
    lime juice
  • c
    3
    green onions
  • Directions
    • 1
      Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
    • 2
      Make the enchilada sauce. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the flour and chili powder, stirring until combined with the oil. Add the tomato sauce, 1 cup water, cumin, garlic, and sugar and simmer over low heat until thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Once cooked, you should have a little over one cup of sauce.
    • 3
      Meanwhile, cook the quinoa. Put the quinoa in a medium saucepan with two cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and turn heat down to low, simmering until the grain has absorbed the water, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and place in a large bowl. Add the enchilada sauce to the bowl as well as the chilies, corn, beans, and ½ cup of each of the cheeses. Stir to combine.
    • 4
      Spray a 8”x8” baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Spoon the quinoa mixture into the dish and sprinkle remaining cheese overtop. Bake for 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly. While the casserole is baking, peel and dice avocado and drizzle with lime juice so it doesn’t brown. Thinly slice the white and light green parts of the green onion. Sprinkle over baked casserole and serve.
    Tips
    • 1
      Substitute bottled enchilada sauce for the homemade sauce

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