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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Salsa Verde Quinoa Bake

Salsa Verde Quinoa Bake | The Sweets Life
Salsa Verde Quinoa Bake 
I am really getting on board this whole freezer meal thing. While it's a particularly lifesaver for me as a working mom, I can't imagine there's a single person who wouldn't be excited to skip a night of cooking without having to resort to takeout or fast food, simply because you have a meal or two in the freezer. This salsa verde quinoa bake actually wasn't intended to be a freezer meal; I made it one weekend and had it in the fridge, ready to bake, when plans changed and we didn't end up baking it or eating it. Rather than shift the remainder of my menu plan for the week, I decided to see how it froze.
Pin ItSalsa Verde Quinoa Bake | The Sweets Life
A few weeks later, I transferred this from the freezer to the fridge on what I knew would be a busy weeknight. The only work I had to do that afternoon, aside from putting it in the oven, was to top it with crushed tortilla chips and cheese. Any step I can manage with a baby on my hip is totally doable! 
Salsa Verde Quinoa Bake | The Sweets Life
My inspiration for this dish was actually a completely different recipe which, after a few major changes, resulted in this fabulous casserole. On a whim I picked up three jars of salsa verde and I can already tell you that the other two will be used to make this dish twice more! You could easily swap a different kind of bean (or even chicken!), switch out the vegetables, or add shredded pepperjack on top for more of a kick. This is so easy to make and doesn't require a ton of dishes; double your batch and make one for tonight and one for the freezer!

One Year Ago: Lightened Up Pad Thai and Mixed Fruit Chicken Salad
Two Years Ago: Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits and Lemon Basil Hummus
Three Years Ago: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars and Summer Tomato, Feta, and Basil Galette
Four Years Ago: Banana Blueberry Bread and Salsa Verde Bake (another version, also vegetarian!)

Salsa Verde Quinoa Bake
*serves 6

Printer-Friendly Recipe
-1 tbsp olive oil
-1 onion, chopped
-2 bell peppers, chopped
-1 tbsp minced fresh garlic
-3 cups cooked quinoa
-1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
-8 oz salsa verde
-4 oz cream cheese
-2 tbsp flour
-1 cup milk
-1 tsp ground cumin
-1/2 tsp ground coriander
-1/4 tsp kosher salt
-1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
-1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
-1 cup crushed tortilla chips
-sour cream and chopped green onions, for serving

1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and bell peppers and cook for 6 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add milk, stirring constantly, and bring to a boil.
2. Remove from heat and stir in cream cheese, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper, mixing to combine. Mix in black beans, quinoa, and salsa verde.
3. Pour mixture into a greased 9 x 13 or 11 x 7 inch baking dish. If freezing, wrap well and freeze. If cooking immediately, sprinkle with crushed tortilla chips and shredded cheese. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and mixture is heated through.
*To cook from frozen, allow to thaw. Top with chips and cheese and bake as directed.