Southwest Quinoa

While the Oscars rolled out the red carpet, KP and I rolled out the red table cloth. I’ll be posting all week from the Academy Award Party feast. To start, as it is the International Year of Quinoa (I love making the proclamation over and over), make this tonight and it will last all week. It has the classic casserole look which I detest and am particularly sensitive to living in the Midwest, but amp up the chili powder (I used well over a tablespoon) and pure spiciness will officially knock it from the casserole category.

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Southwest Quinoa

Serves 6 (about 1 cup each)

Hy-Vee Seasons Health 2013.

Ingredients

2 1/2 c. 33%-less-sodium chicken broth, divided

3/4 c. dry quinoa

2 tbsp Grand Selections olive oil

1 c. diced onion

1 c. diced carrot

1 c. diced red bell pepper

1/2 c. diced celery

1 (4 oz) can diced chilies, drained

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tbsp chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

2 tbsp minced garlic

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained

2 c. diced cooked chicken

1 c.  finely shredded 2%-milk Mexican cheese blend

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring 1-1/2 cups chicken broth to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan. Add quinoa; return to a boil, cover and cook over medium heat 12 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed all the broth. Remove from heat, fluff, cover and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, red bell pepper, celery and diced chilies; sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Add black pepper, chili powder, cumin and coriander and sauté 2 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add remaining 1 cup chicken broth, diced tomatoes, chicken and prepared quinoa. Stir to combine.

Pour mixture into a greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top with shredded cheese. Bake 30 minutes or until heated through.

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5 stars! We even had a guest from Peru who raved over the dish and reminded me more than once that quinoa originates from the region of the Andes. Quinoa is a species of goosefoot, a “chenopod” which means it is more related to beets and spinach than it is to wheat. Quinoa is a grain look-alike only, it has no gluten. I love the way it absorbs the flavor of whatever it cooks with. It tastes like pumpkin pie in my Pumpkin Quinoa, like spicy chili enchilada with this dish. Quinoa is protean and extremely good for you!

Also protean, here’s me as an Academy Award, photo courtesy of Bradley Cooper (ahem, Janelle):

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3 thoughts on “Southwest Quinoa

  1. LOL at your general feelings about Midwestern casseroles! 🙂 I would love to make you a wild rice casserole sometime and see if I can change your mind a little – I will agree though, that the vast majority of them are rather bland. Yours looks marvelous, as does your golden dress! 🙂

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