It all started out with a leisurely Sunday morning drinking a vat of Mariage Freres green tea, writing wedding present thank you notes, and mindlessly scrolling through Pinterest. There she was—a big pan of enchiladas with the title, ‘EASY’. Now that sounds like Sunday night goodness! It was one of those one-pot wonders (which I always try to follow, but really have a sauté addiction), so I took it as inspiration and jazzed it up a bit.
How much work does it entail? Well, you need to cook the quinoa (easy peasy), make an enchilada sauce (again, no sweat), open a few cans, grate some cheese, dice an onion and sauté it for a short while. It all gets piled into a big casserole pan where it will meld into delicious dinner nom-nomness. Did I mention this is a gluten free meal? Take that, wheat belly.
Vegan or vegetarian? No problem—replace ghee with olive oil or coconut oil. You can use your favorite cashew or rice cheese substitution, or blend Veganiase with nutritional yeast, lemon juice and fresh herbs to create a vegan sour cream for the topping. Be creative, enjoy and stay hungry!
2 T ghee**
1.5 T brown rice flour
1 t garlic powder
1 t smoked paprika
1 t chili powder
Pinch sea salt
2 t organic tomato paste
4 t hot sauce (try to find a local one)
1 cup veggie broth
1/2 lime, juiced
1 white onion, diced
1 bunch organic spinach (roughly 3-4 cups)
2 cans organic pinto beans, well rinsed*
1 4oz can mild green chili peppers, drained
1 T ghee
1 T chili pepper extra virgin olive oil (I used Lucini’s Fiery Chili)
1/2 t spicy salt (in love with The Spice House’s Vulcan’s Fire. . .great shop in Chicago)
1/2 t sea salt
1.5 cups red quinoa
1 T ghee
2.5 cups veggie broth
1 t sea salt
1 cup shredded raw organic cheddar (always choose raw if you can find it, way easier to digest)
Handful cojita cheese (you can substitute feta here)
2 t chives, chopped
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
2 limes, quartered
1 avocado, sliced
1 bunch cilantro for garnish
*no joke when I say rinse well. This is what washes off excess sodium and helps make the beans digestible. Look for cans that say ‘no added sodium’. Have time to kill? Cook your own beans! You can make a huge batch and keep them in the fridge.
**don’t know what ghee is? it’s clarified butter, classically used in Ayurvedic practices. It’s fantastic for grounding, clean and delicious. That being said you can substitute regular butter if you can’t find ghee.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prep a large casserole pan with a light layer of ghee.
Soak your quinoa in a bowl of water for 10 minutes and then drain. Combine broth, quinoa, ghee and salt in a large pot and bring to a bowl. Stir well, reduce heat and cover for about 15 minutes or until fluffy.
Melt ghee in a large frying pan and sauté onions and pinto beans with a pinch of salt for about 10-15 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and the beans begin to break. Fold in spinach and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heat, top with spicy oil and stir well. Transfer onion mixture into the casserole pan.
In a small sauce pan, melt ghee on low heat. Whisk in brown rice flour, and continue to do so for about a minute or until it thickens. Add garlic, cayenne, paprika and chili powder, lime juice and mix well. Splash your hot sauce in (it can be a bit dramatic), whisk well and lower the heat if possible. Pour in veggie broth and tomato paste with a pinch of salt. Whisk everything and voila—enchilada sauce.
Add quinoa to the casserole dish, green chili peppers, and enchilada sauce. Mix everything well and top with grated cheddar. Layer jalapeños and chives, then a pinch of crumbled cojita. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 and then serve with cilantro, lime and fresh avocado.
photo by Andrew Cebulka