Black Bean & Quinoa Enchilada Bake

Quinoa was labeled the healthiest food of 2013. I know from my mom’s experience is that it can be tricky to cook quinoa. If you don’t cook it with the right things, it has a bitter taste. But if you make it just right, its delicious! As I was browsing Pinterest to find new recipes I came across this one. Looking for healthy things for us all to eat, I was excited to try this recipe. It looked delicious, smelt delicious and tasted delicious. Put some Chalua on it and it makes it even better. My husband ate his with chips. He liked the flavor but had to get used to the texture of the dish. Sweet Baby enjoyed it as well. Recipe freezes well and I was able to assemble in the afternoon and throw in the oven when the hubby was on his way home from work.

Recipe and photo from Two Peas & Their Pod. Check out their site for more delicious recipes to try. It is a new favorite of mine and the best part is it’s only 6 WW points for one serving! Quinoa is packed with protein so one serving can go a long way! Tell me what you think!

Black Bean & Quinoa Enchilada Bake

Yield: Serves 8-10   Black-Bean-and-Quinoa-Enchilada-Bake-8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes-includes churning time


1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed,diced
1 red pepper, seeds removed, diced
1 orange pepper, seeds removed, diced
1 cup corn frozen kernels
Juice of 1 small lime
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups red enchilada sauce  ( I put 3 cups)
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
Toppings: Sliced green onions, avocado slices, sour cream, optional


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

2. Add quinoa and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Cover quinoa and set aside.

3. In a large skillet, heat the tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the peppers and corn. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add the lime juice, cumin, chili powder, and cilantro. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

4. In a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa and black beans. Add the sautéed vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Pour in the enchilada sauce and stir. Add 1/2 cup shredded cheese.

5.Pour the black bean and quinoa mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining shredded cheese. Cover the pan with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil. Bake an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and edges are bubbling. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 10 minutes. Garnish with toppings, if desired. Serve warm.

Note-this recipe freezes well!


Creamy Tomato Bisque

My favorite place to order tomato bisque is Bj’s brewhouse. Just delicious. They put these delicious, buttery croutons on top – divine! Every time I would eat it, I would turn to hubby and say, I need to learn how to make a good tomato bisque. So I found this delicious recipe from Wilderness Wife. This soup was easy to make too. It doesn’t taste like Bj’s and I’m still going to find a way to make it as delicious.  I didn’t have any curry or bay leaf – maybe that is the missing ingredient. Or as my hubby put it- everything could always use more butter!! This soup is 11 weight watchers points and serving size is 8.

Enjoy! Maybe make a grilled cheese with it. 😉 Recipe courtesy of Wilderness Wife.

  • ¼ lb. butter
  • 1 c. chopped celery
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • ½ c. chopped carrots
  • ⅓ c. all purpose flour
  • 2 (1 lb. 12 oz.) cans of whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. marjoram
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 c. chicken broth
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. curry
  • ¼ tsp. white pepper
  • pinch of salt (to taste)
  1. Melt butter in a large soup pot.
  2. Saute onion, celery, and carrots until tender.
  3. Add the flour, and stirring constantly, cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes, sugar, basil, marjoram, bay leaf and chicken broth.
  5. Simmer for 30 minutes while stirring occasionally, then discard bay leaf.
  6. Puree using the appliance of your choice. I use an immersion blender, but a regular blender or a food processor will work.
  7. Add cream, paprika, curry, pepper and salt.
  8. Stir to combine.
  9. Serve hot or cold.

What’s for Dinner?

18428645646I haven’t tried anything new in awhile, but I brought back a family favorite. We finished the whole thing tonight. Puzzled I turned to hubby, do I normally make a double batch? We must, because there is usually leftovers for a second night. I thought I’d re-share this favorite. I was reminded how lazy  easy this meal is,  Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken. This time I added just a bit of lime juice, cumin and chili powder. It gave the chicken a delicious flavor. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

Grilled Honey Lime Chicken

With the weather getting warmer and a full propane tank-we are grilling again! We made Grilled Honey Lime Chicken, of course its an over-night marinade, which we found out too late. But it still tasted good, so next time we will let it marinate like the recipe calls for. Recipe & picture Source: Cooking Classy

Grilled Honey Lime Chickenhoney+lime+chicken31

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1.5 – 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast halves or chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder or 1 clove finely minced garlic
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)


  • If chicken isn’t an even thickness then place chicken in a large ziploc bag and seal bag. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound chicken to an even thickness.
  • Place chicken in a non-reactive dish in a single layer. In a mixing bowl whisk together remaining ingredients. Reserve 2 Tbsp of the mixture in a non-reactive, airtight container in the refrigerator. Pour remaining mixture over the chicken, cover dish and allow to marinate 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat grill to medium high heat. Once preheated, brush grill lightly with olive oil. Place chicken on grill and cook (with lid closed) 5-8 minutes per side until juices run clear (cook time depends on the thickness of the chicken, internal temp should register to 160 when done), baste each side of chicken with reserved marinade during the last minute of cooking. For juicier chicken, plate chicken, cover with foil and allow to rest 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
  • Notes for better grilled chicken: don’t flip chicken over and over again, it only needs to be flipped once, and if you like the cross marks as pictured you can flip it a second time during the last minute of cooking. For the mouth watering grill marks brush the grill with olive oil before cooking and then when flipping to opposite side, this also prevents sticking as well. Don’t press down on chicken when grilling or poke continuously, this will release the juices and that delicious marinade. Don’t overcook or chicken will be tough, for tender chicken cook until internal temperature registers at 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Don’t lift grill lid more than necessary.

Chicken Noodle Soup & Rosemary Olive Oil Bread

I know some places are getting into spring and warm weather. But here, March is our snowiest month! Chicken noodle soup is great for fighting the flu! So if your feeling something coming on-making this chicken noodle soup. Earlier this month I made this delicious Chicken noodle soup that was passed down to me by a friend. When I tried heres I knew my hubby would love it and I needed the recipe. And I was right-he loved it. When she gave me the recipe she said she doesn’t measure she just tastes and eyes it as she goes.

chicken noodle

Chicken Noodle Soup

Cook a whole chopped white onion, 4 crushed garlic,celery, and baby carrots in olive oil with poultry seasoning, thyme, rosemary, bay
leaves, pepper, I added ginger (help with decongestion, break up mucus in the throat, and help fight viral infections) … All
in a big pot until they are tender. While they are cooking I use “grandmas ” frozen egg noodles from King Soopers and let them thaw. Also I cut up a rotisserie chicken without the skin into little pieces. Once all the veggies are tender add the chicken. Then add two 32oz boxes of chicken stock and one 32 oz box of veggie stock. Taste and see if it needs more seasoning. Bring to a boil. Add noodles and cook for 30 min. I add fresh parsley and milk. Then enjoy! I think it taste better the next day after it has been in the fridge over night.

After it had cooked for 30 minutes, we put the soup in the crock pot and let it cook all day. Just watch it and make sure it doesn’t cook the broth out like it did to ours. We went to the store the next day to buy some more stock.

I love eating bread with soup. I found this delicious recipe for Rosemary Olive Oil Bread on Pinterest to go with our Chicken Noodle soup.

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread

recipe from a hint of honey

1 cup warm water (100-110 F)
1 Tbsp. organic cane sugar
2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped (or 2 tsp. dried)
1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning (or pinch of each ground garlic, dried oregano, and dried basil)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup bread flour + extra for kneading
1 egg, whisked + 1 Tbsp. water, for egg wash
dried rosemary, for sprinkling

1. In a large bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit 10 minutes to proof.

2. Stir in the salt, rosemary, seasonings, olive oil, and whole wheat flour. Add the bread flour and stir until the dough forms a ball. Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, adding more flour as necessary to prevent sticking, until smooth.

3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl; cover; and let rise until doubled in size, about1 hour.

4. Punch down the dough and form it into a round loaf. Place it on a cornmeal dusted pizza peel or parchment paper; cover; and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, preheat oven (and pizza stone) to 400 F. Once the dough has risen, gently brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle with dried rosemary.

6. Bake on preheated stone for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.

Makes 1 round loaf.

Quesadilla Casserole

I love Mexican food. I could live off chips and salsa (if I weren’t on weight watchers and chips weren’t high in points!). This is my favorite, go-to meal for my family. Its a great meat free dish-but feel free to add some chicken or ground beef! It’s perfect to make a head of time then pop in the oven when ready. Like last night, I put it together while Sweet Baby was napping around 3:00 then put it in the oven at 5:45 when hubby was on his way home from work. It’s from Rachel Ray but I’ve added a few changes to make it my own. I double the black beans and corn. She said this is a good dish and that its good for you! But according to weight watchers, its too many points! 11 Points a serving (if recipe doubled-if made as below its 21 points). 
Quesadilla Casserole
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion (I add a couple of cloves of garlic)
  • 1 29-ounce can black beans, drained, 1/2 cup liquid reserved
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (I use fresh cilantro instead of parsley)
  • 5 10-inch flour tortillas
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup store-bought green enchilada sauce (last night anciently I used red enchilada sauce-it was still yummy)
  • I put a can of diced jalapeno because I like spice!! 
Yields: Serves 4
Preheat oven to 400˚F.
In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes (Its best to put the oil, onion and garlic in the pan then turn it on. To heat all the ingredients at once infuse the flavor!) . Add 1/2 the beans and mash into a chunky paste. Stir in the reserved liquid.
Grease a heavy, ovenproof skillet. In a bowl, combine the corn, parsley and remaining black beans. Place a tortilla in the skillet and spread with 1/3 cup of the mashed black bean mixture. Top with 2/3 cup corn-bean mixture and 1/2 cup cheese. Press to compress the layers. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, mashed black beans, corn-bean mixture and cheese.
Bake until cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through, about 30 minutes. Transfer to the broiler and cook for 1 minute. Serve with the enchilada sauce.

What’s for Dinner?

Found another great recipe on Pinterest last night. Made it for dinner last night-it was delicious. I used rotisserie chicken, which made it easier. Next time I think I may add a little more spice to it. Enjoy!

Source & Picture: Joyful Momma’s Kitchen

White Chicken Enchiladas
White Chicken Enchiladas

White Chicken Enchiladas

10 soft taco shells
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 oz) can diced green chillies
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9×13 pan
2. Mix chicken and 1 cup cheese.  Roll up in tortillas and place in pan.
3. In a sauce pan, melt butter, stir in flour and cook 1 minute.  Add broth and whisk until smooth.  Heat over medium heat until thick and bubbly.
4. Stir in sour cream and chilies.  Do not bring to boil, you don’t want curdled sour cream.
5. Pour over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.
6. Bake 22 min and then under high broil for 3 min to brown the cheese.

What’s for Dinner Tonight?

I’m Italian and although my husband is not, his dad lived with a Sicilian family in New York for some time. We also spent two weeks in Rome so we are pretty stuck up about our Italian food. So when I came across this recipe I knew it’d be difficult to talk my husband into it. My husband called it a ‘unholy marriage between Italian shells and Mexican tacos.’ But I said the picture looks so good-lets just try it. He finally agreed and I whipped it up. His first response was, “it’s good but it’d be good in a tortilla too.’ As we continued to eat it I turned to him, ‘It’s like homemade Hamburger Helper.’ ‘That’s it! It’s really good when you put it that way!!’ I know we probably sound stuck up-but just with Italian food. But if you like Italian food and Mexican-try mixing them together with this yummy dish.

Mexican Stuffed Shells    

Homemade Hamburger Helper


1 lb. ground beef
1 package low-sodium taco seasoning

4 oz. cream cheese
14-16 jumbo pasta shells
1.5 cup salsa
1 cup taco sauce (This is a smooth, tomato based sauce found in the Mexican section)
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup monterey jack cheese
3 green onions
Sour cream

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a frying pan cook ground beef; add taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions.  Add cream cheese, cover and simmer until cheese is melted. Blend well. Set aside and cool completely.  While ground beef is cooking, cook the pasta shells according to directions; drain. Set shells out individually on cutting board/baking sheet so that they don’t stick together.

Pour salsa on bottom of 9×13 baking dish.  Stuff each shell with the meat mixture. Place shells in 9×13 pan open side up. Cover shells with taco sauce.  Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, add shredded cheese and bake for 10-15 more minutes, with the foil removed.  Top with any condiments you’d like (green onions, black olives, etc.) Serve with sour cream and/or more salsa.

Found Recipe from: The Way to His Heart

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

Once again I was wasting Sweet Baby’s nap time on Pinterest. I was looking for something quick and yummy to make for dinner. I’m quickly scrolling and I come across the slow cooker salsa chicken recipe. What I read intrigued me: “you most likely have all the ingredients in your pantry.” Hoping this blogger was correct (especially since I didn’t have a vehicle to get to the grocery store) I crossed my fingers and I open my cabinets. And yes to my surprise I actually did have ALL the ingredients. Excited that I was going to make dinner for my husband-which is always a surprise. I have the whole at home mom part down-still working on the other aspects. Mainly the cooking dinner part. I found it three weeks ago and have made it three times since. I’ve added a few things myself to recipe, but check it out the original bloggers post on this yummy meal at Semi Homemade Mom


Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (frozen is fine)
1 cup salsa
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 packet taco seasoning
1/2 cup sour cream
6 tortillas
(I added: onions, garlic and cilantro to the salsa/cream of chicken combination)
Place chicken in the bottom of your slow cooker. Sprinkle taco seasoning on chicken. In a bowl, combine soup and salsa. Pour over chicken. Cook on high 4 hours. Shred chicken with two forks and stir in sour cream. Serve on tortillas or as desired.