I kind of find myself leaning towards meatless meals on Fridays. For a while now, I have been donating a dish to a local community lunch in my town. It seems more often than not that many of the people that come to enjoy this lunch favor meatless meals. I really look forward to the challenge of coming up with a new meatless recipe every week. You can take very simple ingredients and prepare a delicious meal. It so happens that I had prepared a big pan of red quinoa with black beans and chayote squash a day before. And a few staple items can go a long way. Unless they are out, I always keep a pound of tomatillos , fresh or canned, for when that craving for salsa verde hits. I keep my Mexican cheese in the freezer and I typically have some available. For todays blog post I prepared a classic Mexican dish of Salsa Verde Enchiladas, but with a quinoa twist. It’s a good thing I remembered to snap a few pictures of the enchiladas before I baked them. I had many request for the recipe, so it’s always a good idea to take notes when trying a new combination of ingredients in a classic dish.
Salsa Verde Quinoa and Black Bean Enchiladas
For Salsa Verde
7 or 8 tomatillos, husk removed and rinsed
1/4 sweet onion
1 to 2 cloves garlic
1 to 2 jalapeños or serranos, stems removed
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons masa harina or 1 corn tortilla diced
*Also added 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano, crushed, to the salsa
You Will Also Need
2 or more cups of quinoa and black beans, previously cooked
18 corn tortillas
2 1/2 to 3 cups tomatillo salsa
1 cup chihuahua or monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup cotija cheese, grated or crumbled
1. Combine the tomatillos, serranos, onion and garlic in a glass bowl. Cover with paper towels. Cook on high in the microwave for 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to blender. Add 2 cups of broth, 2 tablespoons masa harina(or diced corn tortilla), oregano and salt to taste. Blend on high until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan and heat to medium. Cook just until the sauce becomes thick. Taste for salt,cover and remove from heat.
2. Preheat a large griddle or skillet to medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Brush corn tortillas with olive oil on both sides. When griddle is hot, place as many tortillas as will fit on hot surface. Cook for 30 to 40 seconds per side. Stack onto a plate as you cook them all.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. To a 13X9 baking dish, add 1 cup of salsa verde and spread out evenly. Fill each corn tortilla with about 2 tablespoons of quinoa filling down the center. Fold tortilla over, pull in towrds you and then roll away as tight as you can roll it. Place in baking dish. Repeat until done filling all tortillas. Top with remaining salsa verde, jack cheese, cotija cheese and crush oregano. Cover with foil paper and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and broil for a minutes just to brown the cheese a little. Remove from oven and let stand for a few minutes before serving. Yields 6 to 8 servings. Garnish with your favorite salsa and crema or sour cream.
I wish I could have shared a picture of the enchiladas plated, but lunch happens and people come hungry! Lol! No time for pictures, just time to enjoy good company and share a meal.
Red Quinoa and Black Beans
*This ia a double batch of quinoa. If you don’t need that much, just divide all measurements in half.
2 cups red quinoa, rinsed
1 cup onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano or jalapeño, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 chayote squash, diced
1/2 cup carrots, diced small
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon oregano, crushed
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons tomato/chicken bouillon powder
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Salt to taste
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
Fresh lime juice
Variation: To give it a more Indian flavor, you could simply add 1 teaspoon of garam masala and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric to the spices listed. Tasty!
Tips~ If using chayote squash for the first time, know that it has a seed or pit in the center. this can easily be removed with a spoon before dicing.
1. Using a fine wire mesh strainer lined with a paper towel, rinse the quinoa under cold water. Set aside.
2. In a large skillet, preheat 3 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat for a few minutes. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, bell pepper, chayote and carrots. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 10 minutes.
3. Add in the cumin, coriander, paprika and oregano and cook for another minute. Add in the quinoa, broth, bouillon and vinegar. Bring to a boil, taste for salt and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 to 23 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork, fold in the cilantro and squeeze on fresh lime juice before serving. Yields 8-10 servings.