Do you ever get stuck in the same meal routine and want to mix things up? I know I do! Here are a few things I look for when it comes to building meals:
Quick & Easy
- Like most people, my husband and I both have a busy work week. After I get home and workout, I just want something fast that we both can enjoy.
- It would be so easy to buy convenience meals which are fine on occasion, but for our everyday meal, I want to have tons of veggies + complex carbs + healthy fats + lean protein to nourish our bodies. Especially since we are both so active, it is crucial to replenish those glycogen stores + rebuild the muscles that were torn during exercise.
- Bottom line: you want to be satisfied after a meal! Have enough food freedom to actually enjoy your food…listening to hunger cues to know what your body needs. I could eat a salad every night (and I do sometimes), but I would be highly unsatisfied if I ate it all the time.
- My biggest time saver for you! Cook extras for lunch the next day. To be honest, if I cook everything on Sunday for my lunches + dinners for the week, I am bored by Wednesday…so that form of meal prep doesn’t work well with me. My goal is to always have veggies, grains, and meats prepped on Sunday so I can cook easily throughout the week. That way I can enjoy the same meal two or three times instead of eight times…
This Mexican Quinoa Bake was a trial run for me on Sunday and I will definitely add it to my cycle menu! If you love beans + quinoa + cheese then you will LOVE this recipe. What I love about this recipe? It contains complex carbs + protein + fat all in ONE dish! All you gotta do is add a nice mixed greens salad or roasted veggies with it and you have a complete, satisfying, fiber-filled meal! As always, there are modifications you can do such as:
- Add more veggies! I use spinach + onion in this recipe, but bell peppers, spicy peppers, mushrooms, zucchini/squash, or tomatoes would also be a great addition!
- Skip the cheese: If you are vegan or lactose intolerant, you could always use nutritional yeast in place of cheese. *Why I like cheese in the recipe: more protein + flavor
- Cut the recipe in half: If you are only cooking for 1, you probably won’t want to make the full 6 serving recipe.
- Sodium: If you are watching your sodium, skip the taco seasoning and use only spices in powder form.
- Use Different Beans: Truthfully, any bean would work well in this dish! If you wanna mix it up, you could do a mixture or sub the black beans out completely. Other bean ideas: pinto bean, garbanzo bean, kidney bean, navy bean, white bean, etc
Okay, now onto my original recipe 🙂
Mexican Quinoa Bake
- 1 cup quinoa, dry
- 2 cups water
- 1 15-oz can black beans, drained + rinsed
- 1/2 a medium sized onion
- 1 cup of fresh spinach, chopped
- 1/2 pack of Taco Seasoning
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Chili Powder
- 1 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
- 2 Tbsp Valentina Hot Sauce (or hot sauce of choice)
- 1 cup of shredded White Cheddar Cheese (3/4 cup in recipe, 1/4 cup topping)
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a medium sized saucepan, add 2 cups of water + 1 cup dry quinoa and bring to a boil. Cook until quinoa has absorbed all of the water and is firm.
- In a large mixing bowl, add quinoa, drained + rinsed black beans, onion, chopped spinach, taco seasoning, cumin, chili powder, hot sauce and black pepper. Mix well.
- Fold in 3/4 cup of cheese.
- In a lightly greased baking dish, add quinoa mixture. Top with remaining 1/4 cup of cheese. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
- Serve with your favorite toppings such as: sour cream, Greek yogurt, hot sauce, salsa, green onion.
- Pair with a nice mixed green salad for some extra fiber + micro nutrients + meal satisfaction.
I used MyFitnessPal to calculate recipe Nutrition Facts.
|Total Fat||14 g|
|Saturated Fat||7 g|
|Trans Fat||0 g|
|Total Carbohydrate||35 g|
Make sure you tag me in your creations ( @livebetterwithkatdetter )!
Until Next Time,
Katrina Detter, RD, LDN
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