To me, an obvious healthy food enthusiast, there is nothing better than making a healthy dinner with fresh vegetables and herbs on a summer day.
And this quinoa casserole is perfect for that. The flavours scream summer to me: black beans, corn, bell peppers, cilantro, scallions and coconut milk.
A hybrid of modern Mexican and Thai cuisines. Makes a perfect easy, healthy, vegetarian and gluten free dinner!
Quinoa is a new rice and frankly we rarely make brown rice at my house in summer. Just 1 cup of cooked quinoa delivers 8.14 g of protein, only 3.4 g of fat and 5 g of fiber. As well as iron, calcium and potassium. And it’s gluten free and affordable organic (most times) whole grain. Run to the store!
Coconut oil is perfect for sauteeing veggies for this quinoa casserole. Just FYI a pinch of salt totally neutralizes the coconut taste, although it’s totally unnecessary for this dish as it’s really cilantro coconuty on its own.:)
I love the ease of cooking with coconut oil in summer, can you tell?! I always buy 2 L container of organic coconut oil at Costco and refill the glass jar using an ice cream scoop as necessary. Store in a cool dark place.
I used shredded Kraft Tex Mex cheese. It’s a blend of cheddar, mozzarella and Monterey Jack with jalapeno peppers. Feel free to shred your own cheddar and mozzarella cheese and add just a bit extra diced jalapenos. I also noticed Kraft has a light version of the mix but my grocery store doesn’t carry it.
Combining veggies and quinoa with light coconut milk, fresh herbs and cheese creates a delicious casserole that really stands out from any traditional casseroles you are used too. And it’s healthy too!
As all ingredients are already cooked you just need to put it in the oven for the ingredients to “marry” each other. Just until the cheese melts and bubbles, for about 30 minutes.
Garnishing with fresh herbs really helps to bring out the flavours of the casserole. Quinoa casserole tastes even better the next day and is great for freezing. Enjoy!
- 1 1/2 cup quinoa, dry
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 12 oz can of corn, drained (fresh or frozen corn is fine)
- 3 any colour medium-large bell peppers, diced
- 1/2 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
- 3/4 cup plus 1/4 cup (for garnish) cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup plus 1/4 cup (for garnish) green onions, chopped
- 1.5 cup plus 0.5 cup Tex Mex cheese, shredded
- 3/4 cup canned coconut milk, light
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Cook quinoa as per package instructions and undercook by 4 minutes. Add to a large mixing bowl.
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees and get 8 x 11 baking dish ready. Set aside.
- Preheat large skillet on medium heat and add coconut oil. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds mixing often. Add corn, bell peppers, jalapeno pepper and cumin. Mix and sautee undisturbed for 3 minutes, mix and sautee for another 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl with quinoa.
- To a bowl with quinoa and sauteed vegetables, add black beans, 3/4 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup green onions, 1.5 cup cheese, coconut milk and salt. Mix enough to combine all ingredients.
- Transfer the mixture to 8 x 11 baking dish, sprinkle with remaining 0.5 cup cheese and bake for 30-40 minutes uncovered. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with remaining cilantro and green onions, and serve warm. No need to let the casserole to cool down.
Servings Per Recipe: 8 cups
Amount Per Serving = 1 cup:
Total Fat: 9.9 g
Cholesterol: 7.6 mg
Sodium: 318.3 mg
Total Carbs: 39.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.5 g
Sugars: 4.3 g
Protein: 10.7 g
WW Points+: 7