Today we are feasting on this beauty, the Enchilada-Style Quinoa Butternut Squash Bake. It’s a blend of mostly whole foods, minimally processed and highly nutritious (fiber-rich, protein-packed, and abundant with antioxidants), along with a couple indulgent foods (Smoked-Gouda Style Cheese and avocado oil). Thanks to the quinoa base, in lieu of tortillas, this dish is a little lighter than traditional enchiladas. And, because of the squash, beans and other veggies, you’ll fill up on the good stuff. It’s great as meal prep for the week and does really well as leftovers. Cheers!
ENCHILADA-STYLE QUINOA BUTTERNUT SQUASH BAKE
Vegan, gluten free, dairy free
Recipe by Jentry Lee Hull adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod
Yields ~8 servings
- 3 cups cooked quinoa (I used rainbow, but any color will do)
- 1 Tbsp. avocado or olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 2 cups frozen organic sweet corn, thawed
- 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
- 1-12 oz. package butternut squash zig-zags (sold at Trader Joe’s)
- ½ cup water/veggie broth
- 1 ½-14 oz. cans Red or Green Hatch Enchilada Sauce
- 3 cups (2-15oz. cans) whole black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 Tbsp. chipotle powder
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- ½ tsp. pink Himalayan salt, or to taste
- Juice from 1 lime
- ¼ cup Smoked Gouda-Style Daiya Cheese block, shredded
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- Avocado or guacamole
- Cook quinoa:
- Bring 3 cups water or veggie broth to a boil
- Add 1 ½ cups uncooked quinoa (Note* you may need to rinse and drain quinoa prior to cooking if it hasn’t already been rinsed. Check the package. Rinsing removes saponin, which is a bitter/soapy tasting compound that naturally coats the quinoa. Rinsing this compound away will give your quinoa a sweet, nutty flavor.
- Stir, reduce heat and let simmer for 10-12 minutes.
- Remove from heat, cover and let steam for 5 or so more minutes.
- The end product should be a light, fluffy quinoa.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Pour 1 Tbsp. oil into a 9×13 inch glass baking dish and spread using clean hands or a paper towel. Set aside.
- In a large pot over medium heat, sauté onion and corn for 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Add minced garlic and diced jalapeño. Sauté for another minute.
- Stir in butternut squash zig-zags and ½ cup water or broth. Reduce heat to low-medium and cover for about 5 minutes, or until squash is tender. Add more broth/water, if needed, to prevent sticking.
- Add enchilada sauce, beans, spices, salt and lime juice.
- Fold in cooked quinoa and stir until all ingredients are well-incorporated.
- Transfer mixture to glass baking dish, add shredded Gouda-Style cheese and cover with foil.
- Bake for 15 minutes (covered) then remove foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes (uncovered) to lightly brown the top and edges.
- Remove from heat, let sit for a few minutes.
- Transfer to serving dishes, garnish with more Gouda-style cheese, green onion, avocado, guacamole, salsa and enjoy.
- The trick to making fast meals is food prep. Set yourself up for a successful by cooking your quinoa ahead of time and dicing/chopping your veggies in advance. If you have a slow Sunday afternoon at home, this is a great time to prep your meals for the week. Think of it like this – you’re essentially being your own sous chef for your future head chef self.