Wish Upon A Dish: Southwest Quinoa Bake

October 12, 2012

Southwest Quinoa Bake

This post is my second entry into College Inn's Ultimate Recipe Contest.

College Inn is donating $1.00 to each recipe submitted (up to ten each person) to Share Our Strength®No Kid Hungry® from now until October 28th.

I have been toying with a side dish that used quinoa since before the summer and finally got the chance to see it to fruition. There are two flavor combinations I find myself gravitating to over and over, Asian and Tex-Mex and since I already submitted a recipe with an Asian flavor profile, I leaned towards the other for this dish.

I bounced back and forth, first with the quinoa and then without, and decided that I would make a side dish with the quinoa. This is an excellent way to introduce your family (especially the kids) to quinoa.

An excellent source of essential amino acids like lysine and good quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron, and in contemporary times, quinoa has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (14% by mass), yet not as high as most beans and legumes. Nutritional evaluations of quinoa indicate that it is a source of complete protein. Furthermore, it is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is also a source of calcium, and thus is useful for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System long-duration human occupied spaceflights.

Sounds like a good reason to add it to the dish, no? The other reason is, it just tastes great.

My original idea was to make a black bean, corn and red pepper cheese dip that could be morphed with rice into a side or added to ground meat for a unique chili or used to top hot dogs or burgers and spooned over grits or corn bread. What I ended up with, was all that and more.....a healthy, rich, flavorful, zesty side dish baked with a light pepper jack cheese.

This is beyond yummy, ooey gooey good and I guarantee it will disappear in no time flat.

Six ingredients, this was as easy as it gets, can be prepared a day or two ahead and baked off right before serving. Doesn't require any knife skills and if you own a grater you are done.

Southwest Quinoa Bake
makes 4-6 servings
  • 2/3 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/4 cup College Inn Chicken Stock
  • 2 tablespoons dehydrated soup greens
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 can Baked Black Beans with Jalapeno
  • 1 (8oz) brick Light Pepper Jack cheese (I used Cabot Creamery), shredded
  • 8 dashes of hot pepper sauce
  1. Bring stock to a simmer and add quinoa and soup greens. Cover and lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Add beans and hot sauce. Stir, cover and set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt butter and add flour. Whisk to combine and cook for 2 minutes. Add milk and continue whisking until it comes to a bubble. Add 2 oz of the shredded cheese. When cheese has melted, add it to the quinoa. Remove and cool completely. 
  4. Add 2oz more of the cheese to quinoa/bean mixture and spoon into a prepared baking pan. Top with the remaining shredded cheese and bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until top bubbles and starts to brown. Top with pickled jalapenos or salsa.
  5. Serve as a side dish with roasted chicken, pork or steak.
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1 comment :

Regan @ Cabot Creamery said...

I've been wanting to try a Quinoa Bake & this one sounds like it has all the flavors I love!

Good luck with the contest... and thanks so much for the mention of our cheese. The 1200+ farm families who own Cabot appreciate the support!