Black Bean Spinach Quinoa Bake (+ Pico de Gallo & Homemade Chips)

If you've been looking for the perfect "Meatless Monday" or make-ahead gluten-free recipe, look no further!  This is both of those recipes in one. 

In terms of meatless meals, we're really going for it--and by that I now mean both of us.  We're cutting way down on meat to improve our long-term health and feel great now, too.  To avoid a food rut, we've been trying to play around with ingredients we know we like--those that are filling, and those that will create easy, delicious meals. 

This week's new recipe attempt is a high-protein black bean spinach quinoa bake.  With it, we also made fresh pico de gallo and homemade tortilla chips.  Don't worry, it's really not as hard as it sounds.  Plus, when you make it all yourself, you know exactly what's in everything (and how it was made).  Win, win, yum!

Quinoa Bake

What you need:
a large bowl
casserole dish (a 9x11 will work well)
good knife
cutting board
oil spray or Misto
measuring cups and spoons

1 c quinoa
1 - 1 1/2 c or 1 can black beans, rinsed
1 c spinach, roughly chopped
1/2 c salsa
3/4 c corn (I just measured frozen corn)
1/2 can tomatoes or 1/2 c fresh, chopped tomatoes
3 t cumin
1/2 - 1 t red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1- 2 c (4 - 8 oz) mozzarella cheese (or your preferred cheese blend)

Prepare quinoa as directed (1 c quinoa, 2 c water or broth) and set aside.  This step can be completed ahead of time, especially if prep time before dinner is limited.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a casserole dish for baking.  (For this step, I use my Misto.)

In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, black beans, spinach, salsa, corn, tomatoes, cumin, red pepper flakes, and garlic.

Spread into greased casserole dish and pack down slightly.  Top with cheese.

Bake, uncovered, 22-25 minutes, or until cheese has reached desired meltiness.

We had ours over a big pile of spinach (and it was delicious!).

Pico de Gallo

What you need:
good knife
cutting board

1-2 tomatoes (we used about 10-12 grape tomatoes)
1/2 onion
lemon juice
handful cilantro
1-2 cloves garlic
(optional: 1 hot pepper)

Chop tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and garlic (and optional hot pepper).  Combine and sprinkle with lemon juice.  Use it to top quinoa bake or simply devour with homemade chips.

Homemade Tortilla Chips

What you need:
good knife or pizza cutter
cutting board
pizza stone
oil spray, bowl of oil and brush, or Misto

corn tortillas
oil spray or oil to brush on
salt & pepper to taste

Cut corn tortillas into chip sizes.  Brush or spray with olive oil on each side.  (The Misto makes this super quick and easy!)

While the oven is on, place tortilla portions on pizza stone and bake. 

Bake 7-13 minutes, depending on desired crispiness.

Have you ever tried "Meatless Monday"?  Or going meatless on a different day?

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