Monday, October 10, 2011

Quinoa, Cheese & Chilies Casserole

Here's a Meatless dish that is also comforting and delicious.

In college, they served a rice dish called "Monterrey Bake". I think it was the only vegetarian option at the time, and it was available every night.  If  you've eaten dorm food for any length of time, you know it's pretty bad, but this one was always good and always there. We ate it a lot.

When I was newly married, I made this quite a bit with leftover white rice, cheese, ranch dressing (!) and some canned green chilies.  We loved it.  I wanted to try making it with quinoa, and ummm, not ranch dressing!  This makes quite a bit, but you could do smaller dishes and freeze one for another night.

(Didn't picture the mayonnaise, the panko, Parmesan, chives and parsley)

Serves about 8 as a side dish, about 6 as a main dish
4 cups water
2 cups quinoa
2 cups cheese, cheddar or jack cheese, grated (I used Pepper Jack)
2/3 cup sour cream, or yogurt
1/3 cup mayo
1 Tbsp chives
1 tsp powdered garlic
1 tsp powdered onion
1/2 tsp cumin
1 4oz can of green chilies, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste

Cheese & Crumb Topping
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp parlsey (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cook, over medium high heat, the quinoa with the water for about 15 minutes, until all the water has disappeared and the quinoa has softened. Let the quinoa sit and cool for 5-10 minutes.

In the same pan with the cooked quinoa, add the sour cream, mayonnaise and cheese.  Mix thoroughly and add the seasonings, and the chilies.  Adjust seasoning to your liking with salt and pepper.

Add to a spray coated baking dish ( I used 3 small) but a 9x13 would work for one dish.

In a small bowl, mix the panko breadcrumbs, the parmesan cheese, the olive oil and the parsley to thoroughly mix.  Sprinkle on top of the quinoa cheese mixture. Bake in a 350 oven for 20-30 minutes until it is hot and has golden topping.

Serve at once, but also good reheated for lunches.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Piper, I just bought my first box of quinoa without a real plan. Now I know what to do with it. This looks like the perfect comfort food.