Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Dinner during Dora: Quinoa Tacos

It has been a long time since I've posted a Dinner during Dora recipe. My kids are well past the Dora age, but I still like a recipe that comes together quickly!

Like many people, we're trying to eat less meat these days. But how to reconcile that with the fact that we have tacos of some sort every Wednesday? (I know, it is supposed to be Tuesday, but Tuesday used to be Petunia's art class night and Mr. Snarky heated up leftovers while I shuttled her home from class...)

I have a decent recipe for a filling that is based on sweet potatoes, but I wanted something else.  I went searching and I found this recipe for quinoa taco meat. It is very good! I have made some modifications. The biggest is to essentially double the salsa. Back in the before times, I'd cook the quinoa the night before, and then the rest of the recipe comes together in the 22 minute Dora episode timeframe. Now I just cook the quinoa while working at the dining table, then put the taco "meat" together when I'm done with work.

Quinoa Tacos

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed (it is particularly nice looking with tricolor quinoa, but right now I have plain beige quinoa, so that's what is in the pictures in this post)
7/8 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup salsa (I use La Victoria Thick and Chunky. Medium spiciness is right for me, but that means my husband adds hot sauce.)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tbs olive oil

This first part can be done ahead of time:

After rinsing the quinoa, toast it in a medium saucepan over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir frequently so that it doesn't burn.

Add the vegetable broth, turn the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to simmer/low, cover, and cook for 15-25 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork, crack the lid, and set it aside to cool.

If you're stopping here for the night, put it in a container in the fridge until you are ready to do the rest.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. (In practice, I've done anything from 375 to 425 - if I'm making tater tots as a side (I know, this is high class) I do it at 400 or 425.)

Dump the cooked quinoa in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir until combined.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the quinoa mix on that. It looks like this:

Bake for 20-35 minutes. Stir once halfway through. When it is done, it will smell yummy and look a bit toasted, like this:

Put it in a bowl and serve with your usual taco fixings:

Source: This Minimalist Baker recipe, with modifications

Who eats it: Just me and Mr. Snarky. I did try toasting some plain quinoa (i.e., cooked but without all the yummy stuff mixed in) for the kids. They declared it tolerable but then didn't really eat it either time I tried so I gave up and just do tater tots on the side. Pumpkin has her usual plain tortilla and Petunia has a quesadilla.

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