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Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

MAKES 4 SERVINGS

George Brown College culinary students John Loui Ricardo and Julius De Guia wowed us with this tasty casserole from their Always Hungry? book class project. This casserole is quick and easy because components can be made ahead and assembled in a matter of minutes . . . but it tastes like it came from a fine restaurant.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Total time: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS

Enchilada Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano or regular oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 (14.5‑ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste

Casserole

  • 2 cups Cooked Quinoa
  • 3 tablespoons chopped Anaheim or other mild chile (about 1/2 chile)
  • 2 cups cooked beans or drained and rinsed canned beans, such as black beans, chickpeas, pinto beans, or a combination
  • 8 or 9 sprigs cilantro, chopped• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more as needed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, such as cheddar or mozzarella
  • 1 avocado, diced, for garnish
  • 2 Roma (plum) tomatoes, diced, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Make the enchilada sauce: Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Stir together the chili powder, oregano, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder in a bowl.

Add the spices to the hot oil all at once. Cook, stirring, for a few seconds to allow the spices to become fragrant and infuse the oil with flavor without burning. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Puree directly in the pot with an immersion blender. (If the sauce is not deep enough to fully immerse the blender and prevent splattering, carefully transfer the sauce to a deep bowl or jar to blend. Return to the pan after blending.) Simmer for 5 minutes more to slightly reduce the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Set aside. (This sauce can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks and reheated for quicker prep.)

Make the casserole: In a 9‑inch square casserole dish, combine the quinoa, enchilada sauce, chile, beans, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and 3/4 cup of the cheese. Adjust the seasonings. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup cheese evenly over the top.

Bake until bubbling and the cheese has melted, about 15 minutes.

Serve immediately, garnished with the avocado and fresh tomato.

Calories: 478

Carbohydrate: 54 g

Protein: 20 g

Fat: 21 g

*Phase 1 and Phase 2 or 3 Meal variations available in the cookbook