On the off chance you were intending to stow your slow cooker for the summer, I am here to stop you. Plenty of fantastic summer meals can be made in your handy-dandy crock pot, starting with this one.
A few weeks ago I was at Costco, my favorite store, and bought a rather large bag of quinoa on somewhat of a whim. Quinoa is trendy and healthy and I’ve seen many delightful looking recipes on the internet I thought looked worth a try. Of course I promptly left the bag unopened for nearly a month, like I do, but I broke the ice with this enchilada quinoa concoction.
I came across this recipe on Pinterest (of course) and thought it looked delicious, healthy, easy, and versatile. I was right on all accounts. Other than browning some meat and chopping some veggies, it requires little effort and not much hands-on time. As you may have observed, I am all about the easy meals. Even better, this makes a bunch so you have lots of leftovers or enough to feed a crowd.
Great enchilada flavor, with more-than-meat texture afforded by the quinoa, this is a fantastic way to get your Mexican fix without making tacos again. (I love tacos, but even they can get repetitive.) Black beans and bell peppers add some extra flair, and jalopeños would blend nicely if you’re into that sort of thing. If you want to kick up the flavor, feel free to stir in some salsa at any time. It is a great meal on its own, especially garnished with your favorite taco toppings like cheese and lettuce (or avocado, I guess), and a pretty well-rounded one at that.
But just in case you get bored of the bowl situation, it also makes a fantastic filling. Add a tortilla and you have a new twist on tacos. Bake or fry them and you have some great burritos. Rolled thinner and baked and you have delightful taquitos. Pour some extra sauce over them before baking and turn those taquitos into enchiladas. So many options! I’m sure you’ll have no trouble putting this recipe to good use.
[Slow-Cooker] Enchilada Quinoa
Adapted from Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
Makes about 3 quarts
1-1.5 lbs lean ground meat (I used deer)
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed
2 cups frozen corn
1-2 jalopeños, diced (optional, I didn’t add any)
1 (15-oz) can black beans, rinsed
1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoes (I used a variety with chili peppers)
1 (10-oz) can enchilada sauce
1 cup water
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
2 bell peppers, diced
optional toppings: shredded cheese, diced lettuce, sour cream, salsa, etc
- In a large pan, heat a splash of oil until pan is warm. Add meat and sauté until it is about halfway browned. Add onion and garlic, and continue to sauté until meat is completely browned. Drain (if necessary) and add to slow cooker.
- Add all remaining ingredients1 and stir until well combined. Cook on high for about 3 hours, or until all the liquid has been absorbed.
- Stir everything again, adding additional seasoning if necessary.
- Serve hot, with your favorite toppings. Also great as a taco or burrito filling, or baked into taquitos.
1 If you’re around, you can wait until the last 30 minutes to add the bell pepper so it retains a little crunch, but it’s not necessary.