Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Bake

I’ve been on a quinoa kick lately, which annoys me to end. It just seems so…hipster. And also, it strongly resembles bird seed. Which is kind of a turn off when it comes to my food.

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But. I’ve been making it with vegetable broth lately as opposed to chicken broth or water, and the flavor is SO much better. And it’s filling. And healthy. And blah blah blah, you all know why quinoa has become such a fad. But I gotta say, this meal was great — easy to throw together, satisfying, protein-packed, and healthy. What more can you ask for on a Monday night? Besides wine. And for it to be Friday instead of Monday.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tsp. canola or olive oil
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 (15 oz. can) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cups cooked and shredded chicken
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce — canned or homemade
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • sliced scallions, diced avocado, sour cream, or any other desired garnishes

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and lightly grease a 2 qt. baking dish.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeño and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the quinoa and vegetable broth and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa mixture, black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, chicken, cumin, chili powder,  enchilada sauce, and salt to taste (about 1/2 – 3/4 tsp.) Stir in half of each cheese.  Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and cover the dish with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake 15-20 minutes, then remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and browning.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool 10 minutes before plating.  Sprinkle with desired garnishes and serve.

Yields: roughly 6 servings

Recipe barely adapted from: Elly Says Opa

 

Green Smoothie for Beginners

Wait, what? You want me to put WHAT in my breakfast smoothie?

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That was pretty much my reaction the first time a friend told me to try putting kale and spinach in my breakfast smoothies because “you just can’t taste it at all”. ‘Bullllll s@$%@*’, I thought to myself. That’s disgusting and not natural and why in the world would I want to drink something GREEN? Unless it’s Saint Patrick’s Day. In that case, give me ALL THE GREEN DRINKS EVER.

But. Wait. Actually…this tastes pretty good. And pretty refreshing. And I really didn’t want to hop on the whole #greenjuice #greensmoothie #fitfam #workout #healthy #allnatural #organic #bikiniseasoniscoming bandwagon…but alas, here I am. Because not only are these smoothies really good, but they make me FEEL really good. My skin and nails are already looking better, I don’t want to fall asleep at my desk in the afternoons thanks to low energy, and my digestive system is, shall we say, back on track?

And if you really want to be an overachiever, you can blend one up for breakfast and pour the leftovers in a mason jar or to-go cup and bring it to work for lunch. With a side of french fries.

Ingredients:

*They say the best formula for green smoothies is as follows: 2 cups leafy greens, 2 cups liquid base, and 3 cups of fruit. Feel free to play around with the recipe below and alter according to your tastes!

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup kale
  • 2 cups coconut water (you could also use coconut milk, almond milk, regular milk, water, etc.)
  • 1 small to medium frozen banana
  • 1/2 apple
  • 1/2 pear
  • 1/4 cucumber
  • 1/4 inch piece of peeled ginger
  • frozen berries/mangoes/grapes, if desired — note: if you use frozen berries, they will probably throw off the color of your “green” smoothie. Don’t fret. It may look like you’re drinking frozen manure, but it’s still delicious
  • protein powder, if desired

Instructions:

If you’re not lucky enough to own a Vitamix, that sucks. And you should probably buy one so you don’t have to blend in phases. I’m going to be really sad when my roomie and I split up and she gets the Vitamix in the divorce. Because it’s hers. In the meantime, I’d recommend blending your leafy greens with the liquid base first, then adding the fruit. Nobody wants to see chunks of spinach floating around in their drink, no matter HOW #fitfam you think you are.

Yields: 2-3 smoothies, depending how big your glasses are

Recipe from: Roomie #1

Tuesday Shoesday

I’ve only been back from Mexico for two weeks but I’m already dreaming again of the feeling of sand between my toes and salty ocean air. Thus, I present to you, a Tuesday No-Shoesday.

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“May you always have a shell in your pocket and sand in your shoes.”

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