Monday, October 6, 2014

Crock Pot Enchilada Casserole

Apparently it's fall, but in Southern California it's hot. In the 90's hot, which is exactly when I get out the crock pot. During the winter when it's cold (again, Southern California, so like 60 degrees cold) I look forward to big pots of hot soup and doing the dishes because it warms me up. But when it's hot like this the kitchen is the last place I want to be. The great part about this meal is it can be made 100% with food from the pantry. The chicken and cheese are both optional, but if you have them on hand it really adds a nice change in texture to this dish.

Crock Pot Enchilada Casserole
      serves 8
  • 2 cups cooked Chicken, chopped (I used a rotisserie)
  • 15 ounce can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 ounce can Sweet Corn, drained and rinsed
  • 8-10 ounces diced Green Chiles, canned
  • 2 cups Enchilada Sauce
  • 1 heaping cup uncooked Quinoa
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican Cheese, divided
  • 2 tsp chopped Cilantro (I used frozen cubes)
  • 1 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin
Be sure to check the package of quinoa to see if it's pre rinsed. Most that come packaged are already rinsed, if you're unsure rinse it anyway so there isn't a bitter taste. Okay now for the best part of the recipe, add everything but the cheese into the crock pot. Stir, set to to high, and cook for three hours or until all the liquid has been absorbed by the quinoa. So simple! If you're making this vegetarian skip the chicken, and take it one step further and skip the cheese to make it vegan. You will know the quinoa is cooked when the little germ pops out and wraps around the quinoa. The goal is to just add enough liquid so it can be absorbed by the quinoa and become a casserole instead of a soup or chili. I only had 14 ounces of enchilada sauce, so I had to add a little splash of water before cooking. 

After three hours stir half the cheese in, and spread the rest on top. I just popped the lid back on for a few minutes while it was on warm to melt the cheese. We happened to have cherry tomatoes and green onions on hand for garnish, but use what you have. This would be fabulous with sour cream and sliced black olives as well. If you like it a little spicy add a dash of hot sauce or Sriracha to your bowl. Enjoy!

Per serving: 326 calories, 9 grams of fat, 584 mg sodium, 195 mg potassium, 29 grams carbs, 3 grams sugar, 24 grams protein.

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