One Pan Chicken Sausage and Veggies


I’m working longer days now. Which in part, I love because it earns me an extra day off per week (I’m working 4, 10-hr shifts). But, when that puts me walking in the door post-workout on a weeknight at 7:30, I don’t want a complicated recipe. (And honestly, who really does on a weeknight!)

I ran across this recipe, actually on Pinterest, a couple months back looking for easier dinner recipes. And this is one of the ones that stuck. We’ve made this several times. Often enough to be honest, that I’m a little embarassed that I haven’t added it on here yet.


The basis for the recipe is from Chelsea’s Messy Apron. We make it largely as written using one of the pre-cooked flavors of chicken sausage from Trader Joe’s and tons of veggies. It’s probably us more than the recipe, but I usually end up roasting this on 2 separate pans. When the pans are too crowded the food ‘steams’ instead of roasting, and you all know we want the flavor that comes from those browned, roasted veggies.

With the addition of the red pepper flakes, it is a touch spicy. Probably not too much for many adults, but if you were making this for kiddo’s, you might want to back of the amount or leave it off. We typically serve this over brown rice, but you could easily serve over quinoa, couscous, etc.



(Printable Recipe)

One Pan Chicken Sausage and Veggies
From Chelsea’s Messy Apron

1 pkg. pre-cooked Trader Joe’s chicken sausage (5 links)
4-5 small red potatoes
0.75 lb. fresh green beans
2 bell peppers, any color
2 heads broccoli
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes, optional
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Quinoa/brown rice/couscous
Grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil.

For the veggies: cut the red potatoes into small pieces (~1/8 potato) to allow them to cook completely. Seed and chop the bell peppers. Cut the ends off the green beans and cut in half, if needed. Trim the broccoli florets and discard the stems.

Slice the sausages. Add both the sausages and the veggies to a large bowl. Add olive oil and spices, and stir to coat. Divide evenly between the pans. Roast for 15 minutes. Stir each pan and continue to roast for another 10-15 minutes. Serve over your grain of choice and top with Parmesan cheese.


Roasted Sweet Potato, Pinto Bean, and Swiss Chard Tacos


Let’s talk about sweet potatoes for a second. So sometime within the last year or so, I have came to realize that the vegetable that most of us consider a “sweet potato” is actually a yam. Yes, the huge orange root vegetable that we often develop into casseroles around Thanksgiving and is popping up everywhere (even Sonic?) in fry and tot form is a yam. Apparently, there is a vegetable that is really a sweet potato, although I had never actually consumed it until this week. Sweet potatoes by the correct name are actually a pale yellow, cream color.

All of this back information aside, I was hoping to make roasted sweet potato tacos (sweet potatoes as in the yam variety) this week. The hubbs was headed to the store, so 1-1/2 lbs. of sweet potatoes went down on the list. So what did he came home with? Of course, this week of all weeks was the time the store actually carried real sweet potatoes and had them labeled as such. Guess I really got true sweet potatoes!



Grocery store stories aside. These tacos are some of the best vegetarian tacos I have made. Roasted sweet potatoes mixed with taco seasoning combined with pinto beans and sauteed Swiss chard. Quick. Filling. Healthy. Love it. Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Roasted Sweet Potato, Pinto Bean, and Swiss Chard Tacos
Adapted from Joanne Bruno’s recipe on Marcus Samuelsson’s Blog

1-1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes
1 Tbsp. homemade taco seasoning
juice 1 lemon
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 can pinto beans, rinsed
1 large bunch Swiss chard, stems removed and roughly chopped
1 tsp. paprika
salt and pepper
Cojita cheese, crumbled
corn tortillas

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel the potatoes and chop them into 1/2-inch pieces. Place in a medium bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice, and taco seasoning. Roast for 18-20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and starting to brown on the edges.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the Swiss chard and cook until wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the paprika and season with salt and pepper. Mix in the beans. Cook another 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through.

Top the tortillas with the potatoes and then the Swiss chard mixture. Sprinkle Cojita cheese over the top. Enjoy.

Black Bean and Tomato Soup

black bean and tomato soup with bread

I feel like I have to share a quick little story that precedes this cookbook. Back in October, I ran a half-marathon with a couple of my college girlfriends, and we all stayed at one of the girl’s apartment (it was kind of like the old time sleepovers, lots of fun!). Anyway, the girl we were staying with end up giving me a cookbook she had laying around (this Skinny Bitch cookbook) stating that she never uses it anyway. Awesome! I was pretty excited about checking out the new recipes and ended up paging through it in the airport on the way home. Given the title, I tried to keep the book covered up pretty well but apparently did not do it well enough as one of the ladies sitting beside me at the terminal commented on the “language” of my book. Oops…

“Language” aside, this is a really interesting book. While I do not follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, we do eat meals that fall into each of those categories with some regularity. In fact, I knew as soon as I paged through the soups that this section alone would be reason enough to own this book. When I got home, I actually gave it to my husband to page through and pick out a recipe. He actually dove right into the soup section as well, so we must have been on the same page! Black bean and tomato soup is was.

black bean and tomato soup

The beauty of this soup is it’s simplicity. It is not my first black bean-related soup on this blog, but has it’s own advantages. The first is that this is absolutely weeknight friendly. It comes together really quick, and allows you to prep anything else you may be doing during that 15 minute simmer time. One of the others is that the 2 cans of beans in here actually give this soup some staying power. I love soup, but I hate it when I’ve brought a vegetable-based soup for lunch at work and I end up hungry 2 hours later. As far as the recipe goes, I followed it almost exactly, swapping only small things that I had in my kitchen. The soup itself is absolutely something we will make again, so thanks for the new cookbook Kelcey! I’ll try to keep the title a little more conspicuous next time ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Black Bean and Tomato Soup
Adapted slightly from Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
2 (15 oz) cans low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (28 oz) can stewed tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
3 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
juice of 1/2 lime (1-2 tablespoons)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. green onions, chopped
1 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped

Heat the oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 3 to 4 minutes or until it starts to soften. Add the garlic and red bell pepper and saute another 30 seconds. Add the chili powder and cumin and stir to combine. Add the black beans, tomatoes, corn, broth, water, oregano, red pepper flakes, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer for about 15 minutes.

Transfer half the soup to a blender or food processor, let cool slightly. Blend until smooth. Add this back to the remaining soup in the stockpot. Alternately, you can use an immersion blender in the stockpot (with all the soup in the pot) and blend until about 1/2 of the vegetable pieces have been pureed. With the soup back in the stockpot, add the lime juice and sale. Stir and simmer for about 5 more minutes. Garnish with the green onion and cilantro.

Green Goddess Enchiladas

green goddess enchiladas baked

Meals like this are something I turn to when I feel like I need a detox. This past weekend? Well, we’ll just say there may or may not have been some fried macaroni & cheese balls consumed. And while they were absolutely worth every bite, it’s just something I just can’t do every day. Bring on the fresh, wholesome food!

This recipe comes from Joanne at Eats Well with Others. Truthfully, the first time I made these I had some reservations about how the sauce would end up. There really was no reason to be worried, and it’s a recipe that has been repeated more than once around here. Even if it’s not so photogenic, these have become one of our favorite types of enchiladas. Rather than a traditional enchilada sauce, the tortillas are topped with a mixture of blended broth, kale, Greek yogurt, green chiles, and scallions. I promise you really won’t taste “greens” in the final dish. As a note, the mixture will be thin after you first blend it, but it condenses well in the oven to form almost a second layer over the tortillas.

CX VCgreen goddess enchiladas serving

I usually stay pretty true to Joanne’s recipe when I make these, subbing only canned beans for the dried to aid in the preparation time and upping the amount of chopped green chiles. It is a pretty simple process, and most of the time spent is actually bake time. One thing I can tell you about this dish is that it is totally a stick-to-your-ribs meal! Leftovers for lunch are great because if I eat this at noon, I’ll actually make it to a respectable dinner time before I’m ravenous (I mean really, anyone else always get hungry at 3:00pm?). Healthy + filling. Do I really need to convince you any more? Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Green Goddess Enchiladas
From Eats Well with Others (originally adapted from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice)

1 cup canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), can used dried beans that have been soaked and cooked until tender
1 small onion, diced
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
kosher salt and black pepper
1 cup grated reduced-fat cheddar cheese (Cabot brand is what I like)
10-12 corn tortillas
1-3/4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed
1 (7 oz) can chopped green chiles, drained
2 scallions, chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Saute chickpeas, onion, corn, chopped tomatoes with green chiles, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper for 5-6 minutes or until all the liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated, stirring often. Remove the mixture from the heat. Stir in 1/2 of of the grated cheese and set aside.

In a blender or food processor, add the vegetable broth, yogurt, kale, green chiles, and scallions. Lightly cover the bottom of the prepared baking dish with about 1/2 cup of the sauce.

Cover the corn tortillas with a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds to warm. Fill each tortilla with a scant 1/2 cup of filling and roll tightly. Place in the baking dish seam-side down. If any filling remains, layer on top of the rolled tortillas or set aside for another use. Pour the remaining kale sauce evenly over the tortillas. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until the sauce is thickened and bubbly. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Crockpot Beef and Two Bean Chili

meat and bean chili close

Happy 2013 everyone! Hope your holiday season was everything you wanted it to be. I didn’t make a resolution. In fact, I never have, but I’m hoping to make 2013 a great year on this blog. For one, I want to conquer that “To Make” list ๐Ÿ™‚

I know that January often brings resolutions to eat better and improve one’s health. Well, lucky for you healthy doesn’t have to equal boring baked chicken + a side of broccoli every night. Beef and bean chili. Not quite the recipe that you’d think of if you are trying to eat healthier, but think about it. Beans, lean protein, tomato products. The base ingredients for chili can be just as healthy as that chicken. In fact, this one clocks in at under 400 calories a serving (**will vary based on ingredients used).

meat and bean chili in the crockpot

meat and bean chili

The recipe for this chili comes from Jenna from Eat, Live, Run, although the recipe is posted here on As she states, this is a traditional chili recipe in every sense. Thick and loaded with meat and beans in every bite. I made a few changes to her recipe to make it a bit healthier including using lean ground sirloin, swapping some homemade black beans in for some of the chili beans, adding a green bell pepper for additional produce, and definitely leaving out the mushrooms (although that wasn’t really for health reasons). The black beans are actually also Jenna’s recipe, and I would encourage you to do this if you’re trying to eat healthier. You can use these in so many things from adding them to soups, to tacos, to just over rice with salsa and plain Greek yogurt (in place of sour cream).

So how was the chili? Great! The story behind this chili is actually a little funny. We had a 12-day long food sharing session at work around the holidays. I noticed one of our pharmacy residents was signed up for the weekend, so I sent him a message to see if he wanted any help. Turns out someone else had signed him up, and he didn’t even know he was up to bring something. I decided to help him out telling him I’d make chili if he brought toppings ๐Ÿ™‚ The chili went over really well, and I definitely brought home an empty crockpot. I actually had to make it again so my husband could have some. Not that I minded. Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Crockpot Beef and Two Bean Chili
Adapted from PBS Food

1 (16 oz) can chili (pinto) beans in mild sauce
3 cups prepared black beans (or 2 cans black beans with onions and peppers)
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 lb. lean ground sirloin (93/7)
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup brewed coffee
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1-1/2 tsp. salt
pinch of cayenne pepper

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Saute the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and bell pepper and saute for about 1 minute more. Add the ground beef and cook the mixture until the meat is cooked through.

Add the ground beef mixture to the bowl of a crockpot. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. The chili is best cooked on low for 8-10 hours, although it can be cooked on high for 4-6 hours if needed. Remove the bay leaf prior to serving. Serve topped with desired toppings (shredded cheese, crackers, plain Greek yogurt).

Cajun Bulgur Salad

cajun bulger salad

The thing about longer, warmer summer day is that they make me crave lighter, fresher foods. When I am hot, the last thing I want is a heavy, greasy meal that is going to weight me down. In line with this, one of our favorite types of meals in the summer is what I call a “grain salad.” The formula is pretty simple: cooked whole grain + chopped veggies +/- beans/chicken + /- herbs + vinaigrette dressing. The combinations are endless, and they also make for great “clean out the refrigerator meals.”

This grain salad is one that I ran across last summer on A Couple Cooks. We’ve made it several times in the past year, enough that I feel justified in sharing it. You may notice in the pictures that our beans were much lighter than a traditional kidney bean. Like I mentioned before, one of the great thing about this type of meal is the adaptability! This recipe is a little different from some of the others in that it does call for a special spice – Cajun spice blend. Buy it. Even if you don’t have another recipe using it. I promise it will go to good use. Enjoy!

cajun bulger salad layered

(Printable Recipe)

Cajun Bulgur Salad
From A Couple Cooks

1-1/2 cups uncooked bulgur wheatย 
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drainedย 
3 ears of corn (or 1/2 cup thawed frozen corn)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half if larger
1/2 cup red onion, chopped (about 1/2 medium-sized onion)
2 Tbsp. fresh oregano, minced
4 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. olive oil
~1 Tbsp. Cajun spice blend (depends on brand of spice and heat level desired)
fresh ground black pepper
Kosher salt (if needed, may be salt in the spice blend)

Heat 1-1/2 cups water in a medium saucepan to a boil. Add bulgur to the saucepan, cover, and remove from heat. Let the pan sit undisturbed for about 15 minutes. The bulgur will absorb the water as it sits. After 15 minutes, remove the lid and fluff the bulgur with a fork.

Meanwhile, prepare the vinaigrette by whisking together the vinegar, olive oil, oregano, 1/2 Tbsp. Cajun spice blend, salt and pepper. Set aside. Prepare vegetables and rinse and drain the beans if using canned beans. When the grain has finished cooking, add the bulgur and vegetables to a large bowl. Toss to combine. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and mix well. Add remaining Cajun seasoning, salt, and/or pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Chipotle Bean Burritos

black bean burritos2

Last but not least. The final meatless, seafoodless recipe. Hope you have been able to find some meatless recipes in the last couple weeks whether it is for meatless Fridays or just the occasional meatless meal. ย 

I ran across this recipe on Annie’s Eats, but it is originally a Cooking Light recipe. It seems pretty simple and definitely is quick. Beans mixed in a skillet with some seasonings and wrapped up in a tortilla with your standard round up of sour cream, lettuce, tomato, etc. I definitely learned one thing in making this recipe. A mixture of mashed up beans does not make for very pretty photos!

Can’t go wrong with simple, quick, and delicious. As this is the last meatless meal, I’ll be back tomorrow with a decadent dessert ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Chipotle Bean Burritos
Adapted from Cooking Light (Seen on Annie’s Eats)

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. minced chipotle in adobo sauce
1 tsp. cumin
dash of cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1/3 cup chicken broth (or water)
1 (15oz) can black beans
1 (15oz) can pinto beans
6 Tbsp. fresh salsa
6 whole wheat tortillas
shredded Mexican blend cheese
diced tomatoes
shredded lettuce
chopped green onions
Low-fat sour cream

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and spices through the salt. Stir constantly and cook until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds. Add the beans and broth to the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the the heat and allow to cook for about 10 minutes or until the beans are softened. Remove the skillet from the heat. Roughly mash the beans leaving some pieces whole. Add the salsa and mix well.ย 

Spoon about 1/3 cup of the bean mixture down the center of each tortilla. Top with desired toppings. Fold the ends of the tortilla in and roll-up lengthwise. May cut in half if desired. Serve immediately.

Loaded Black Bean Veggie Burgers (Vegan)

veggie burger

In talking to our families, we got wind that they are suppose to have a high in the 80’s today in Nebraska. In March! Enjoy your day guys. You’ll be in our ballpark today ๐Ÿ™‚

Warm temperatures make me think of summer, and what is the quintessential summer meal? Burgers! To keep with my meatless, seafoodless theme, you may have guessed that these are veggie burgers. Neither of us are vegetarians, however I do occasionally like a veggie burger over a traditional beef burger. Nothing wrong with either one, just really depends on what kind of mood I am in.

veggie burget patties cooking
veggie burger patties close

One of my pet-peeves about homemade veggie burgers is that mushy middle. If you have tried to make bean veggie patties at home, you probably know what I mean. I’ve tried a couple recipes in the past that weren’t even close to making the blog, and there was an incident once involving soggy veggie burgers and the grill. Don’t want to talk about that one. While it has been awhile since she posted it, I only recently ran across this recipe from Angie of Oh She Glows. The recipe is actually vegan, using ground flaxseed + water as a replacement for eggs. Angie claims that this is “their perfect veggie burger.” As I said in my lasagna post, I hesitate to call anything “the best,” but these burgers are dang good. We both took them for lunch every day until they were gone, and I can tell you that I missed them the first day I didn’t have one. Definitely a do again, and that is saying something in the world of a food blogger ๐Ÿ™‚

(Printable Recipe)

Loaded Black Bean Veggie Burgers
From Oh She Glows (Originally inspired by Whitewater Cooks)

1/2 cup onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2-1/2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed + 1/2 cup warm water
1 cup oats, processed into flour
1-1/2 cups whole wheat Panko bread crumbs
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup black beans (I used canned beans and measured 1 cup)
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/3 cup sliced toasted almonds
1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1-1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
black pepper to taste

Add almonds and sunflower seeds to a small skillet. Toast over medium heat until slightly browned and fragrant. Set aside.

In a large skillet, saute onions and garlic in 1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil for a few minutes until the onions begin to soften. Mix the flaxseed and water together in a small bowl. Let set for 10 minutes.ย 

Mash the beans with a for until no large pieces remain. Place the beans and the remaining ingredients up through the spices and salt (including your nuts) in a large bowl and mix well. Add the seasonings, including salt, and taste. Adjust if necessary. I had to add a little bit more water to my dough at this point to get it to come together (maybe 1-2 Tbsp). Add just a little at a time until the dough will hold its shape when pressed together.

Wet hands and firmly press dough together into patties. Burgers can be pan-fried in a small amount of olive oil on the stove for 4-5 minutes per side, baked at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes (flip at about 15 minutes), or grilled. If grilling, Angie recommends pre-baking the burgers for about 15 minutes. Serve on buns with desired toppings.

Vegetable Soft Tacos with Chipotle Sour Cream

vegetable soft tacos with chipotle sour cream

As I am sure is the case in the homes of many food bloggers, we have something new and different at some meal almost every day. This ends up being both good and bad. I definitely don’t get the “we’re having this for supper again?” comment, but in the process, I have realized that I do not really have any “go to” recipes. Want a recipe for chicken noodle soup? I probably have 10. Chocolate chip cookies? Even worse. Chicken recipes. Don’t even go there.

While it seems that it would make supper really easy, what happens is I get information overload. It has been shown that when presented with too many options, humans take longer to make one and are more dissatisfied with their choice, and I absolutely fall into that group. One thing I do to make meal choices easier is to pick out a certain category. If I can decided that I want to make chicken lasagna or vegetarian tacos, I may narrow my choices of recipes down to only a couple. Much more manageable!

One of the themes that shows up again and again on our menus week after week is some type of Mexican. Whether it be tacos, enchiladas, burritos, or even just Mexican-flavored dips, we love it all. These tacos, from Eat, Live, Run happen to be a vegetarian version that fall right into my current theme of meatless, seafood-less meals. The recipe for these tacos happens to be from Jenna’s mom who adapted it from an Oprah recipe, and from my attempts at her meals, all that I can say is that I would love to be invited to dinner!

vegetable soft tacos with chipotle sour cream veggies

These are different from other vegetarian tacos that I’ve seen in that the pre-cooked beans are roasted in the oven to give them just a bit of a crunch in the tacos. Genius. Combine that with a roasted-pepper corn mixture and crunch from some green cabbage, and you have one heck of a taco. We ended up leaving out the radishes as I did not have any in the house when we made these, but I am sure they would up the crunch factor as well. Seeing these pictures is making me want these again. Soon. Guess I’ve solved the supper predicament for one night next week ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Vegetable Soft Tacos with Chipotle Sour Cream
Adapted from Eat, Live, Run (originally from Oprah)

2 cups corn (fresh or frozen)
2 limes, juiced
2 tsp. cumin
1-1/2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 red bell peppers, sliced thin
1 red onion, sliced thin
1 can (15oz) black beans, rinsed and drained or cook your ownย 
1/2 medium green cabbage, sliced thin
1 bunch cilantro, minced
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1-1/2 tsp. sugar
1 avocado, diced
3 radishes, sliced thin (I left out)
1 cup low-fat sour cream
2 canned chiles in adobo sauce, seeded and dicedย 
2 tsp. adobo sauce
1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
whole wheat tortillas

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil if desired.

Toss together corn, 1 tablespoon olive oil, lime juice, 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, bell peppers, and onion and spread on half of the baking sheet. In a separate bowl, toss together the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, and black beans. Spread on the other half the baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beans are getting crispy and the vegetables are cooked through.

Meanwhile, combine the cabbage, cilantro, vinegar, sugar, diced avocado, a pinch of salt, and radishes if using. Set aside to let marinate in the vinegar. In a separate small bowl, mix together the sour cream, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce.

Fill tortillas with the vegetable-bean mixture. Top with the cabbage mixture and a dollop of sour cream. Sprinkle with cheese.

Southwestern Quinoa Casserole

southwest quinoa bake

In continuing the theme of meatless recipes, I thought I’d start with one of the Mexican-themed recipes I’d promised. This may not be true for everyone, but I’ve always found Mexican dishes one of the easiest types of Cuisines to make vegetarian. With all the beans, veggies, and cheese, it is easy not to miss the meat!

This dish mixes all those above things with none other than quinoa. No meat certainly does not have to mean no protein! I have definitely caught the quinoa “bug.” What is not to love about those little curly cues it sprouts after it’s cooked?ย 

The idea from this recipe comes from Not Rachel Ray. She used the filling both for southwestern stuffed pepper and in casserole form. We just made the casserole variety, but I am sure stuffed-peppers would be delicious (I also seem to have a “thing” for different types of stuffed peppers). I made a few changes to Rachel’s original recipe mainly leaving out the chicken, upping the amount of beans (hate having random half cans of stuff in the refrigerator), and adding a chopped bell pepper to the mix. We just planted several of these ingredients in our garden last weekend. Can’t wait until we could make this with the goodies from our garden!

You’ll find a lot of different ways to cook quinoa. I’ve tried quite a few different ways, but the method that has worked well for me is a ratio of 2:1 liquid to grain. Any more liquid, and I find the quinoa ends up too wet even after cooking. You can use all water, a mixture of water and broth, or even all broth if you’d like. If I have it, I like using half broth, half water. I haven’t tried this, but I think you could prepare most of this dish the night before (minus adding the bread crumbs). Add the bread crumbs and bake the next day. Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Southwestern Quinoa Casserole
Adapted from Not Rachel Ray

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup water
1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 can (14.5 oz) black beans, rinsed
1 cup frozen corn or corn cut from 2 cobs
1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
2 Tbsp. cilantro, minced
1-2 Tbsp. taco seasoning (make your own)
1-1/2 cups reduced-fat shredded Mexican cheese
1/2 whole wheat Panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse the quinoa and shake strainer to drain off any extra liquid. Place in a medium saucepan. Add broth and/or water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 13-15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat. Let sit and remain covered for about 5 minutes. Remove lid and fluff with a fork.

Combine the cooked quinoa, bell pepper, onion, beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, taco seasoning, and 1 cup of cheese. Pour into a 2-quart baking dish. Combine remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and Panko bread crumbs. Sprinkle over the top of the dish. Bake 45-50 minutes or until the bread crumbs are golden brown.