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Mexican Quinoa Casserole

Day number two of midterms week, down.  Yes!

On a more sad note, Fritz went off to California today for a dental conference that he’s presenting research in.  Sad for me, happy for him.  It’s going to be very lonely for the next couple of days, so it’s probably a good thing I have a large stack of textbooks to bury my sorrows in.

Actually, that’s never really a good thing, is it?

My mom (who is apparently the recent MVP of this blog) gave me a recipe for this sweet-potato-black-bean-quinoa-casserole this weekend, and I decided to give it a try because it was filled with a lot of healthy ingredients that I had on hand.  My one complaint was that it was a bit dry, so I’d probably add a 1/2 cup of water or so next time I made it (or an extra cup of salsa–even better!).  It was good as a side dish, and even better as a Mexican-style filling for the omelet I just made for dinner! 

Mexican Quinoa Casserole

  • 1 C dry quinoa
  • 3 C black beans (2 cans, or 1 1/3 C dried beans, soaked, rinsed, and cooked)
  • 1 sweet potato, grated (about 2 C)
  • 1 1/2 C salsa
  • 3/4 grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 T cumin
  • 2 eggs or 1 egg/1 flax egg (1 T ground flaxseed in 3 T water)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cook the quinoa according to instructions (I used 2 1/2 C water and simmered until all the water was absorbed–I had both red and white quinoa, and red cooks more slowly than white).

In a casserole dish, combine the quinoa, grated sweet potato, and black beans.

Mix together the remaining ingredients in a bowl, using only half of the grated cheese (eggs/flax egg, cheese, salsa).

Pour over the quinoa mixture, and combine thoroughly.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

Bake, covered, on the middle rack in the oven for 25 minutes.  Uncover for another five minutes and let the cheese on the top brown (you can broil it if you like your cheese crispy).

Slice and serve!

Since mine came out a bit crumbly, I was using it as a filling for other meals, which was perfect.  A great way to eat this would be in a halved bell pepper with some extra salsa–mm! 

Between all the studying that Fritz and I have been doing, it hasn’t been very fun around here.  Luckily, Henry always manages to find some way to amuse himself–he was surfing on pieces of paper in the kitchen, jumping from one to another and sliding all over the floor.  Who knew cats were so hysterical?

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  1. founditonapostednote

    This looks really tasty. I can see how it might be a bit dry, though. I will definitely have to try it out because I love sweet potatoes and mexican food.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I think that I didn’t cook the beans enough (I use dried beans) beforehand, and the al dente beans soaked up an excess liquid…but more salsa would fix the problem and add an extra kick :)

  2. Kristen

    That Henry picture made me laugh out loud :)

    1. Kristen

      OH and two quick food questions I’ve been meaning to ask you:
      1) What is a good food to use to make ground turkey stick together for turkey burgers (not egg)?
      2) What do you suggest that I make for a photo TA potluck dinner? It needs to be pretty easy to make, pretty healthy, and good at traveling. Probably a side dish or appetizer type food.

      1. Lauren Zietsman

        1) turkey burgers are just plain hard to get to stick together, so if you are grilling them, just be extra careful, but if you cook them on a pan inside you don’t have to use anything. i read a recipe lately that said turkey burgers biggest problem is being dry, so if you bake a couple slices of eggplant and puree it and add that to ground turkey, it makes healthier and moister turkey burgers (and if you add a little soy sauce they taste “meatier”). Then you also have eggplant which you can slice and grill for quick veggie burgers :) (so I wouldnt use anything to make them stick, basically, just really squish the meat together first, its okay to handle it a lot, and then oil the grill if you are cooking it outside)
        2) get a bunch of your favorite veggies, slice them and line them on cookie sheet with a little olive oil, season them, and then broil them for a few minutes when you get there OR just do it before you go. healthy and easy and yummy! I like to do squash (yellow or green), tomatoes, asparagus, peppers…anything, really.

  3. Alice in BC Canada

    This is a great sounding recipe. I’ve just recently gotten into using quinoa and love it. It’s easy, healthy and yummy. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    I have never heard of ‘flax eggs’ before so that really interested me. I love making bread pudding and am now wondering if I could substitute some of the eggs with flax eggs. Can all eggs in a recipe be replaced with flax eggs or just part of them?

    In Canada we have yams and sweet potatoes and it would appear that what you call a sweet potato is what we know as yams. For us the sweet potatoes are white inside and the yams are orange. In your photo I thought the orange was the cheddar cheese and the white the sweet potato until I read further and saw more pictures. Thanks for the pictures of the different steps.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I’ve mostly used chia/flax eggs in baking, where I replace one or two eggs and the flax still works as a binder. As far as pudding goes, I think you just have to try it! I would start with replacing one and see how that works. I’ve actually read about what the actual difference between yams and sweet potatoes is, but I never remember which one is which–I thought that most of what we think are yams in North America are actually sweet potatoes, but it might have been the other way around! Should investigate further ;)

  4. Irene

    I stumbled on this recipe from a google search for a quinoa dish. We had it today. It was great! [It tasted healthy, but in a good way.] I used white beans because we were out of black. I think black would have been better. I might also add some red onion next time.

    Mostly I wanted to say that I like your positive attitude. I look forward to reading more of this blog.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      thanks :) I’m glad you liked it and I appreciate the feedback :)

  5. christa stevenson

    I came across this recipe on pinterest, which led me to your blog and as I was reviewing ingredients to make it today I figured I should browse the blog I was getting it from. You pretty much took the words out of my mouth on your “about me” page, and I just wanted to say how happy I am to see that someone else struggles with the same feelings. I’m married, 29 and have three kids, and have dealt with all the eating/not eating stuff, as well as feeling like if I am not a size two I am nothing. I am slowly but surely letting God change my heart and love myself for who he made me to be. Anyways, going on and on, just know this will be appreciated in my life, and probably in alot of others.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      thanks for the note! I always appreciate hearing from people with similar experiences!

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