Mexican quinoa casserole

Mmm! This was one was spot on!!! Thank you, “Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood” for another amazing one. The recipe I have below is adapted from the original in the book – please go get the book! I don’t usually have cravings for Mexican food, but I can’t wait to make this one again! It was filling and oh-so-delicious! Of course, M loved it! We also thought (with a little more adaptations) this would make a great dip! As it was, it went extremely well with tortilla chips and nachos! Plus, we made it ahead of time! All you have to do is stop right before adding the salsa and cheese. Then, that evening or the next, when you’re ready to pop it in the oven, finish up with the salsa and cheese! This was a great make-ahead dish! I hope you have fun and enjoy!

Cheesy goodness!

YUM!

What you need:
Taco seasoning:
1 tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder
pinch cayenne pepper

Casserole:
1 cup water
1/2 cup quinoa
2 cups zucchini, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 medium yellow bell pepper, diced
One 14-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup sliced green onion
1 cup prepared salsa (mild, medium or hot)
1 cup shredded aged cheddar cheese
Light sour cream (optional)

What to do:
Combine all the ingredients for the taco seasoning in a small bowl; set aside.

Bring the water and quinoa to boil in a small saucepan. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for an additional 4 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9″x13″ casserole dish and spread the zucchini and bell peppers in the bottom. Sprinkle with 1 tsp of the taco seasoning.

Combine the beans, cooked quinoa, green onion and 1 tbsp of taco seasoning; mix well. A small of taco seasoning will be left over but you won’t be using it in this recipe – we put it in a labeled baggie and put it in the fridge for later use! Place the bean-quinoa mixture over the veggies in the baking dish. Spread a layer of salsa on top of the quinoa mixture. Top with cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until cheese has melted and casserole is hot throughout. Serve immediately and top with sour cream, if desired.

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