Taco Wednesday anyone?
Or really, lets just go with tacos any day. They always win.
With pretty much everyone. Unless they’re this quinoa version and your feeding well, my family.
If you have been reading for pretty much any amount of time, than you know that my brothers don’t eat quinoa. Heck they will not even go anywhere near the stuff.
So yeah, this meal was not for them, but they are totally missing out because this is some good Mexican. Same awesome flavor, just a little healthier.
I actually almost felt (sort of) bad pulling this out of the oven in front of them the second time.
It smelled like tacos, it looked super cheesy, but then one look at the smile on my face and they knew that something was up. Kai called it right away, “wait, there’s no meat in this, is there”?
I mean seriously, they know me too well.
Whatever, the rest of us quinoa eaters loved this.
And I mean, just look at all of this cheese!!
I had too. The cheese stretch. Nothin’ better.
So there’s the cheese, but there is also tortilla chips stirred in with the quinoa making it kind of similar to chilaquiles. If you added a fried egg on top you would be my hero.
Please do it!
Just like this caprese quinoa bake I made over the summer, this too is super easy to make. This dish has a few more ingredients, but don’t let them freak you out. Promise it is just as easy and quick. Perfect for a mid-week, early spring meal when the weather could be really nice or just plain miserable.
It’s full on snowing here and yet I do believe tomorrow is officially spring, so this healthy, cheesy comfort food is very welcomed.
Also, there is queso fresco involved. Just too good.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 of a large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 2 red bell peppers, chopped
- 2 jalapeños, seeded + chopped
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika or regular paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- a good pinch of cayenne pepper (more or less to your taste)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups cooked quinoa (use 2 1/12 cups for a larger dish)
- 2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained if using canned
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 cup Mexican beer or water (I used I used Negra Modelo)
- 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
- 1/3 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
- 1/3 cup sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup fontina cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 head butter lettuce, chopped
- queso fresco, crumbled
- blue or yellow corn tortilla chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 or 9x13 inch baking dish.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Once hot add the oil and then the onions, garlic, red bell peppers and jalapeños, cook 5 minutes or until the veggies are soft. To the skillet add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, pepper, salt and cayenne. Stir in the tomato paste and continue to cook 1 minute. Stir the quinoa and black beans, mix well.
Add the lime juice and beer (or water). Simmer until the beer has cooked out, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tortilla chips, pepper jack cheese and some fresh chopped cilantro if desired. Transfer the quinoa to the prepared baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes and then turn the broiler on and broil for 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.
Remove from the oven and top with fresh cilantro, grape tomatoes, diced avocado and tortilla chips. Serve!
Oh, double also, those tomatoes you see above – they were delicious. Spring is on its way somewhere!