Friday, October 10, 2014

Lighten (and Brighten) It Up | Day 10

You must have had a tough week to deserve a special treat like this.

"Like what?" you are all asking. Um, hello, like me!

This is not your normal red-headed chocolate-loving snow-obsessed blogger. I'm visiting all the way from my own little corner of the interwebs,

Yes - this is Lindley's sister Mary. Affectionately known (and vice versa) as Biffer.

Last week, my Biffer asked if I'd be willing to chime in for a guest blog while she and her precious fam were off to cheer on their Baylor Bears (Sic 'Em!) and, of course, I accepted.

If you're just now tuning in, my Biffer is in the midst of a 31 day writing challenge on...LIGHT! Seeing it, being it, eating it (this is where I come in) and living it!

Over on my blog, I love to share recipes that I've used to help me...well, lighten up. Like a lot of people out there, I've struggled with body image and weight. A few years ago, I really made a commitment to get back down to a healthy weight. The hardest part was sticking with it because I love food so much and I get bored dieting. Ugh - the dreaded "D" word. Who can be satisfied with a plain piece of chicken and some lettuce 5 days a week? Not this self-proclaimed foodie! So, I took some of my favorite recipes, sought out some new ones, got a little creative, and proceeded to lighten them up. It worked, so now I love sharing some of the recipes that continue to help me work towards my goal. 

Now, as you may be well aware, my Biffer loves her some quinoa. I have also tried a few recipes with it (like some delicious Buffalo Quinoa Cakes I shared on my blog) and am also a huge fan. It's packed with protein, which makes it super filling. So today I'm going to share a new favorite recipe of mine that just fits in perfectly here on Our Morning Glories - Mexican Quinoa Casserole. Consider yourself warned, you might be seeing something you've never seen on this blog before...cheese! But don't worry, if you're a crazy person like my Biffer and you don't like cheese, you can leave it off. The beauty of this dish is that you can customize the toppings, so if you have a big family with one kiddo who doesn't like cheese and a hubby who doesn't like olives, no problemo since all of that gets added post-baking. See below - my version, so the hubby could enjoy his olive-free:

Mexican Quinoa Casserole (4 large servings)

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 cup, frozen yellow corn

1 small bell pepper, chopped

1 Tbsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. chili powder

1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup chopped green onion

1 cup shredded fat-free Cheddar cheese

Cilantro, black olives, salsa, sour cream, etc. for toppings.

Heat oven to 350. Begin by rinsing your quinoa in a fine mesh sieve. Add to boiling water (use directions on quinoa package for amount), boil for 3-4 minutes, reduce heat and simmer until water absorbed and quinoa is fluffy.

In a large skillet, heat oil and add garlic. Cook 1-2 minute and stir in frozen corn, chopped bell pepper, chopped tomato, cumin and chili powder. Saute 5-7 minutes until softened.

In a large bowl, add cooked quinoa, cooked veggies, black beans, green onion and lime juice. Stir well and add to a baking dish. Top with shredded cheddar and bake 15-20 minute until cheese has know, if you use it.

This is a great dish because, as I mentioned, it's versatile with flavors. It's also versatile with portions. I noted it's 4 large servings because I divided it into 4 servings when I made it, and the husband and I each at 1/4 for dinner. The other half was divided up into four super light lunch servings, which made me the envy of co-workers heating up their frozen meals. 

Well, that's all I have for you today. Hopefully you'll give this light recipe a try and enjoy it. Feel free to pop by my blog any time for some more delicious recipes.

I hope y'all have a great weekend!



lindley said...

So awesome! Thanks, Biffer!!! Excited to potentially try this--even with the cheese! :)

Anonymous said...

I will say, this looks delicious and even sounds great! Of course, I should know from other recipes this will be delicious. Love Mom/Mimi


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