The first seven months of our marriage, my husband and I lived on the Texas Mexico border. I learned real fast that Mexican food was not Tex Mex. Anytime we came back to the Metroplex to visit family I was craving Mexican food...Tex Mex. Apparently, sour cream chicken enchiladas are not authentic Mexican food. Who knew?
On my Trim Healthy Mama journey I have discovered many ways to keep Tex Mex in my life, yet keep the carbs down. If you're at a restaurant, you can always order the Taco Salad (minus the shell, of course), or you can order nachos over a bed of lettuce instead of chips, one very sneaky friend of mine (you know who you are) even sneaks her own low carb tortillas into restaurants to eat with fajitas.
Last winter, our Ladies Ministry did a Kelly Minter Bible Study. It was called a "living room" series and each week's lessson included a recipe. One of the recipes I immediately tried was black bean and quinoa. This is a variation of that recipe, but I incorporated a few more ingredients into it, including ground turkey, to make it a complete meal.
Let's address the elephant in the room. Some of you are afraid of quinoa (pronounced keen-wah). I understand, I'm fairly new to it, too. It is high in fiber and was named one of the healthiest foods. In order to spare you a nutritional class, click here for more info on quinoa. If you're searching through Pinterest, you find it in a variety of recipes, including oatmeal-inspired dishes, smoothies, and casseroles. I like to use it as a substitute for rice, as I did in this recipe.
If you're ready to have a Tex Mex fiesta with me; here's what you need: Fresh Cilantro, Salt & Pepper, Quinoa, Ground Turkey (feel free to try it with ground beef or shredded chicken), Cayenne Pepper, Cumin, Rotel, Coconut Oil, Garlic, Black Beans, Chicken Broth (or Bouillon), and Shredded Cheese (not pictured).
The worst thing about quinoa is washing it and rinsing it first. It's important, though, so don't skip that step. After that, heat 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a pan and saute 3 cloves of garlic (chopped) until lightly browned. You can use olive oil, I love the subtle flavor of the coconut oil in this dish. After the garlic is ready, add 3/4 cup of uncooked quinoa to your pan and pour in 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth. Season with 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Stir it all together and bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. In the meantime, brown your ground turkey.
Once those are ready, drain and rinse a can of black beans and chop approximately 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro.
Now, mix your browned ground turkey with your quinoa (you'll know it's ready after 20 minutes, if the liquid has been absorbed), black beans, cilantro, and Rotel together.
Pour into a casserole dish. Top with shredded cheese, I used half cheddar, half Monterrey Jack, but use whatever you have on hand. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes, or until everything is heated thoroughly and the yummy cheese is melted.
You can top it with sour cream, but I like to make my own concoction of Nonfat Greek Yogurt, a little lime juice, and a little salt. Just mix it all together to your liking.
There you have it...Tex Mex Quinoa! I hope you will try it out. Even if you are a little skeptical of quinoa. As always, if you try it, let me know what you think!
Do you have a favorite recipe that uses quinoa? Share it with me!
Have a great weekend! Adios!