A member of my hall of fame (crispy quinoa bake)

This recipe is in my hall of fame.  I made it first when I was living in Texas and experimenting with vegetarian and vegan dishes in order to lose my quitting smoking weight.  If only Pure Barre bad been around then!  The first time I made it, I strictly adhered to the recipe.  It called for diced green chiles.  I got a can from my local HEB and this happened...

Seriously!? You had one job...
That was my most liked mobile upload on Facebook for 2012!  I wished I would have known then what I know now, that I should have subbed fresh jalapenos for heat!

I made this for lunch this time, with the jalapeno sub and left out the corn.  I didn't have enough quinoa so I pulled out some Minute Rice Multi Grain Melody I had in the pantry from a Target run awhile back.  It was just as delicious.  I gave my leftovers to one of my work besties in exchange for her giving Ginger a walk for me one day.  We both won!

This will freeze beautifully as a whole casserole and in individual servings.  It is so flavorful and you will not miss the meat, I mean it!  Try this out sometime, you will not be disappointed!  Full recipe after the montage.

The cast.  I was happy I had lime juice in the fridge because I forgot a lime!
Toast up the quinoa...wait a minute, she said 1 cup uncooked, not cooked!
Luckily I had this great medley in the pantry.  A happy accident continues to give!
Chop the veggies.  That's a lot of green!
Saute the onions and bell pepper first
Then add the rest.  Man I wish this was a scratch and sniff post, I loved this smell!
Someone once told me you can tell someone grew up kind of poor if you love fresh grated cheddar. It doesn't matter anyway, I love it!
This is only one cup of cooked quinoa, we needed twoish.
Place your grains in a bowl.
Add black beans and tomatoes.  Note to self don't use fancy chef's cut tomatoes that are on sale.  That doesn't mean diced, it does mean more work for you!
Add veggies and seasoning. Good thing this is all the ingredients, we were running out of room and I was at my limit for dish duty!
Press it all into a greased 8x8 or 9x9 casserole
Bake it for awhile and then take a pic on the blurry setting.
Add you poor man's cheese
Cook until cheese is melted and even stick it under the broiler if you wish!
Plate it up and enjoy!  Crispy and cheesy and veggie, how can you go wrong!

Crispy Quinoa Bake (Adapted from The Live In Kitchen)

1 cup quinoa, uncooked
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup onion, diced (about 1 medium)
1//2 green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup zucchini, cubed (about 2 small)
1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ lime, juiced
2 cups shredded cheese

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Spray baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside. Place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse throughly with cool water for at least two minutes. Drain. In a medium saucepan, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring, for about one minute. The quinoa should begin to dry out and pop a bit. Add the chicken stock. Stir and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, jalapeno and zucchini and cook 3 more minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and place it in a large bowl. Add onion mixture, beans, green chiles, tomatoes, cumin, oregano, chili powder, lime juice, and salt to taste. Mix thoroughly and transfer to prepared baking dish. Bake 30 minutes, top with cheese, and bake 10 minutes more or until melted and just beginning to brown.

Happy cooking!


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