Taco Quinoa Casserole (FREEZER MEAL)
This is another freezer meal where I like to double the batch, and eat one the day-of and freeze the rest for an inevitable upcoming busy week. Its hearty, and can be a meal all on its own.
Protein is comprised of 20 amino acids, and 11 of these amino acids are produced by the human body. For optimal health, we must get the other 9 amino acids, called "essential amino acids" from the foods we eat. When a food contains all nine of these amino acids, it is called a "complete protein".
Animal proteins are complete, including red meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy. There are also a few plant-based complete proteins, quinoa being one. The others include buckwheat, hempseed, blue-green algae, and soybeans.
When you combine beans with rice, you can also achieve complete protein status. Other example combinations can be nuts or seeds with whole grains (peanut butter on toast), hummus and pita bread, bean-based chili and crackers, refried beans with tortillas, or salad with chickpeas and sunflower seeds. You don't need to eat all of these in every single meal, or even every single day, however, its a good idea to consume a variety complete proteins regularly.
2 cups of uncooked quinoa, cooked according to package directions
1 can of low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 - 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes (with the juice)
1 Sweet potato, cubed and baked
1 tbsp. Extra Virgin olive oil
1 Red bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder or granulated
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup of frozen peas
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Dice your sweet potato into cubes, place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with a bit of salt, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
In a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa, black beans, diced tomatoes, sweet potatoes, red bell pepper, ground cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, yellow onion, salt, and frozen peas and stir to combine.
Serve immediately or pour into a freezer-safe container, cover, and freeze for up to three months.
When ready to eat, defrost in the fridge overnight, and bake (covered) in a 350-degree oven for 25-30 minutes.