For the second week of Cooking with Hope, we are celebrating a very special birthday for my twin siblings! Hope and Sean, aka Sohope as they were called growing up, turn 20 today! YAY My parents can finally take a big breath; for the first time in 17 years, they don’t have any teenagers! Click here to read about the first week of Cooking with Hope.
For their special day, Hope requested one of her favorite meals – Quinoa enchiladas from Skinny Taste. I made them once for her and she LOVED them. Also on the menu are grilled watermelon and homemade healthy ice cream! Everything turned out delicious and Hope learned how to make her favorite meal. The original recipe for the enchiladas can be found here. The one below is the one I made; it has a few minor changes from the original. The great thing about this recipe is it makes a lot of food; we had enough for leftovers the next day, and it gives you left over black beans to make a salad or quesadilla with. That’s one dinner and two lunches! Score!
Quinoa Enchilada Bake
- 1/2 tsp olive oil
- 2 gloves of garlic, minced
- 1 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
- 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth – (I used chicken bouillon to make my base. See meal planning tips for more info on this)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tbsp hot sauce
- Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
- 1 (4oz) can diced green chiles
- 3/4 cup canned black beans
- 3/4 cup fresh or frozen thawed corn
- Chopped fresh cilantro – the more the merrier. I used about 1/2 cup
- 1 1/2 cups Mexican shredded cheese, divided
- 1 medium avocado, diced
- 2 tbsp chopped scallions
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a 9 x 12 baking dish
- Cook the quinoa using 1 3/4 cups chicken broth and 1/4 cup water according to package instructions. Once done, fluff with a fork and set aside.
- Meanwhile in a small saucepan, heat the oil over medium low heat. Add the garlic and saute until golden brown. Don’t burn! Add the tomato sauce, 1/4 tsp salt, cumin, 1/4 cup chicken broth, and hot sauce. Bring to a boil and simmer 3-4 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, green chiles, corn, black beans, and 1/2 cup cilantro. Top with the hot sauce mixture and add remaining cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes.
- Top with avocado and scallions.
I’ve been wanting to try grilled watermelon for a while, plus this made a perfect side dish to the quinoa. It tasted even better than I expected. The salty feta cheese mixed perfectly with the sweet watermelon.
Grilled Watermelon with Feta Cheese and a Balsamic Reduction Sauce
- Watermelon, sliced into triangles
- 1/4 cup feta cheese
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- Olive oil
- Cut the watermelon in half through the center. Place the flat part on a cutting board and slice a 1 inch thick piece off, so you have a large circular piece. Slice the circle into even triangle pieces.
- Turn on the grill, season the watermelon with a thin layer of olive oil on both sides and grill until grill marks show on watermelon, about two minutes/side.
- Transfer to a platter and season with salt. Set aside.
- In a small sauce pan bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil and cook until thickens slightly about 5 minutes. Pour over watermelon pieces and top with feta cheese.
I have also been wanting to try this healthy ice cream for a while! Recently , I’ve been getting a chocolate craving after dinner and thought this would be perfect, except I didn’t have any frozen bananas. So this time I finally planned ahead! This recipe definitely hit my sweet tooth and I will be making it again!
Chocolate-Banana Ice Cream
- 4 ripe bananas, cut into chunks and frozen
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 4 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/8 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp honey
- Pulse banana pieces in blender until smooth, add all other ingredients and pulse until incorporated.
- Transfer to a resealable container, freeze at least 30 minutes before serving.