Sunday, February 16, 2014

Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

I love when I get to cook on Sundays.  Today has been a particularly productive day for me.  I had breakfast, did my lesson plans for the whole week, finished a project for one of my graduate school classes, did my favorite Jillian Michaels video (No More Trouble Zones), and made this casserole! All before noon!

This casserole is so simple and super yummy.  I was inspired by the recipe on Two Peas and Their Pod which is one of my favorite blogs.  I love that this all ends up in one big bowl and then you just bake it! I adapted the recipe a bit because I wanted to incorporate some other ingredients (I had to clean out my fridge a little!) and it turned out great! Plus, now I have enough leftovers for a few lunches this week!

Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

1 cup quinoa, pre-rinsed
2 cups water
1 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, diced
1 15 oz can low-sodium black beans, rinsed
1 15 oz can whole kernel corn, rinsed
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1/2 cup packed baby spinach
1 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp cilantro
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chile powder
salt and pepper
2 cups red enchilada sauce
2 cups low-fat shredded mexican cheese
1 green onion, chopped (optional)

1. Place quinoa and water in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, place olive oil in a large sauté pan with the garlic and onion.  Let cook for 5 minutes and add in the pepper and tomatoes. Sauté another 5 minutes and add in lime juice, cilantro, cumin, chile powder, and salt and pepper.  Cook for another 5 minutes.  Place in large bowl.
3.  Add beans and corn to bowl along with the cooked quinoa.  Stir to combine.  Stir in the enchilada sauce and half the cheese.

4. Pour into a greased 13 by 9 inch pan and then sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top.  Cover with foil and cook for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Sprinkle with green onions and serve with sour cream if you want.

Enjoy :)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Healthy and Vegetarian: Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Happy Valentine's Day!

I know I've been a little MIA lately, but I just had to post something to say Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!  Also, I had to share my latest soup recipe since a bunch of people have been asking for it.  So here it goes!

My Valentine's Day has been lovely so far.  I seriously underestimated the amount of giant stuffed bears I would see in a 24 hour period.  High school was crazy today! I handed out Hershey Kisses to my students to honor the day, but other than that it was a normal school day.  I did wake up to a cute card from Bri sitting on my computer.  Then, I came home to him cleaning the apartment and getting dinner ready! It was so sweet.  We decided to do Valentine's day at home since neither one of use loves going all out for the holiday.  However, it is our first Valentine's Day where we are actually together! I guess that is exciting!  I got him two puzzles of the Chicago skyline to put together and then hang up in our new place.  He got me a great box of chocolates (he customized it to make sure I would like all the candies!). He also got me a "mystery gift" since it hasn't arrived yet.  I'll have to keep you posted! For dinner, he's making Quinoa Risotto and for dessert, I made my Red Velvet Heart-Shaped Cheesecakes!  I am writing this and just drooling at all the smells coming from the kitchen.

Now, onto that soup recipe.  This is what I had for lunch today since I knew I would want something healthy to balance out all the sugar I would most likely be consuming.  It ended up being a great idea.  This soup was simple and amazing.  It makes a huge batch since I wanted leftovers, but you can cut the recipe in half if you want.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup
(adapted from Chow)

3 lbs. broccoli
2 tbsp olive oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
salt and pepper
32 oz vegetable broth
4 cups water
10 oz light shredded cheddar cheese
4 tbsp non-fat, plain greek yogurt (I used Chobani)

1. Cut broccoli into 1 inch pieces so that the green part is separated from the stalk.  Place half the green pieces in a large bowl and the other half in a medium bowl.  Also cut the stalk into 1 inch pieces and add to the large bowl.
2. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add in the garlic and onion and cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add in the large bowl of broccoli pieces, the cubed potato, the vegetable broth, and the water.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bring mixture to a boil and then lower to a simmer.  Cover and let cook for 20-25 minutes or until broccoli and potatoes have softened.
3. While cooking, cut the other broccoli pieces into 1/2 inch pieces.
4. Once pot is cooked, blend the mixture in batches until you have a pureed broccoli mixture.  Place back into the pot and heat over medium.  Stir in the rest of the broccoli pieces and let cook for about 10 minutes.  Stir in the cheese and greek yogurt.  Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Enjoy :)

Now it's time to eat...