Monday, August 6, 2012

Quinoa Chicken Enchilada Bake

It's hot here.

Okay, it's warm.

Okay, it's a tad uncomfortable.

Okay, I'm a wuss.  Still, it's too warm to be baking casseroles.  And yet, that's what I did tonight.  Yes, I'm crazy.  The guys in white coats will be here soon.

Also, I shouldn't give myself free reign in the produce department.  It's really not a good idea.  You know why?  I come home with bags full of kale, zucchini, broccoli, carrots, onions, celery, mangoes, apples, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, and a papaya.  All in one trip.  All for one person.  That's a lot for one person.

I have similar problems in the ice cream department.  But we won't talk about that.

So, tonight I tried something new.  I tried making a my own recipe.  In an attempt to use up some of the produce in my fridge, I decided to combine various items in my pantry into a casserole.  I present to you:

Quinoa Chicken Enchilada Bake

Serves: 4-5   Prep Time: 30min  Bake Time: 25-30min

 - 1c quinoa
 - 2c chicken broth
 - 2 chicken breasts
 - 2/3T vegetable oil
 - 1c zucchini
 - 1c broccoli
 - 1c carrots
 - 1/2 of a yellow onion
 - 2 green onions
 - 1-2c cheese
 - 2c red enchilada sauce


1. Cook quinoa according to instructions on bag.  I cooked mine in leftover chicken broth.

 2. Prepare enchilada sauce.  I followed this recipe from Budget Bytes, but I'm sure the canned sauces will work just fine.

3. Chop up vegis.  The measurements are my best guess at how much there was.  It was half an onion, half a zucchini, a couple large handfuls of broccoli, some carrots, and two green onions.

4.  Heat 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in a pan/skillet/frying vessel on the stove and season raw chicken with salt and chili powder.

5. Cook the chicken until no longer pink and set aside.

6. Heat the other teaspoon of vegetable oil and then saute the yellow onion, carrots, broccoli, and zucchini until soft.

7. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Then take the casserole dish your Aunt Karen gave to you and start layering the various elements.

If you don't have an Aunt Karen, you might have trouble with this step.

Just kidding.  Any casserole dish will do.

Start with the cooked quinoa. . .

Then add a few pinches of shredded cheese. . .

Then layer in the cooked vegetables. . .

And then add the chicken. . .

Drizzle the enchilada sauce over the top. . .

And finally top it off with more cheese. . .

And green onions.

8. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes, until bubbly.  This may be longer or shorter, depending on your dish.  My dish is about 4 inches deep, so it took a bit longer to cook through.

9.  Let cool for 5 minutes, then plate your food.  Then eat.  

The food, not the plate.  Just wanted to make that clear.

The only thing I would differently on this would be to layer in some enchilada sauce in the middle.  The flavors in the sauce seep into the quinoa and the chicken and the vegetables, giving it all a nice, healthy Mexican-tasting dish.

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