Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

Black Bean & Quinoa Enchilada Casserole | Mimi's Fit Foods

Every-so-often I am looking for a good and healthy casserole to make.  This gets tricky for a couple of reasons.  1 – Casseroles are usually not healthy.  2 – Casseroles usually use canned soup of which I am not the biggest fan.  So, I get kind of picky when it comes to making casseroles.  BUT, casseroles are so wonderful because they are great one-pan dishes that feed a crowd.  So, I never stop searching for tasty and healthy casserole dishes.

This is my current favorite casserole dish!  It’s loaded with traditional Mexican flavors and the texture is phenomenal thanks to the black beans and quinoa.  It is really easy to make and takes little effort.  The prep time takes about 20 minutes (that’s to chop up and sauté the veggies and cook the quinoa) and the bake time is 30 minutes.  So, I essentially had dinner ready in 20 minutes, and used the 30 minute bake time to make a green salad AND wash the dishes so I wouldn’t have to do much after dinner.  Pretty awesome!

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Casserole (Whole) - Mimi's Fit Foods

I loved adding the fresh toppings to the cooked casserole.  The green onions, fresh cilantro, and avocado were oh-so-perfect.  It hyped up the freshness and intensified the Mexican flare.

This is also a meatless casserole.  That being said, the addition of shredded, cooked chicken would work SO well here (and stretch the servings).  I have NO doubt that I’ll be incorporating that on occasion to increase the protein content.

This is going to become a regular around our house!  Please make it at yours . . . and then bring me a plate.

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Casserole | Mimi's Fit Foods

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Casserole
Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
2 cups 99% fat free chicken broth
1 tablespoon extra virgin 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
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
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced fat Mexican cheese
Toppings: Sliced green onions, avocado slices, sour – optional

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

Add quinoa and broth 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.

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. 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.

In a large bowl, add the cooked quinoa and black beans. Add the sautéed vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Add cheese and pour in the enchilada sauce and stir to combine.

Pour the black bean and quinoa mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining 1 cup 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!

Serves 8.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories:  289.7
Protein:  15.9g
Carbs:  38.6g
Fat:  9g (2.6g = Sat.)
Fiber:  9g
Sugars:  3.3g

Slow Cooker Thai Soup

Slow Cooker Thai Soup | Mimi's Fit Foods

I think I’ve professed both my love of Thai flavors and my love of the slow cooker.  So, I guess it’s no wonder that I love this recipe!  I mean, we’re talking very little work for a meal full of Thai-infused deliciousness?  Yes, please!

Have you ever had Tom Kha Gai soup?  This soup is kind of like that.  It’s not exactly, but it resembles several of the same flavor notes that you’ll find in Tom Kha Gai.  The good news about this recipe is that I’ve cleaned it up so that it’s not over 400 calories a serving, yet it still contains all those delicious Tahi flavors.  Yay!

I served this with a scoop of Soft & Fluffy Baked Brown Rice.  Again, not a lot of work to get the rice ready for dinner.  I think this meal is going to make the “regular” list around my house!

Recipe Note:  You’ll see that I used PB2 in the recipe.  It’s a powdered peanut butter that has a lot less calories than regular peanut butter.  If you don’t have PB2, you can easily just substitute regular peanut butter (but your calories per serving will increase a little bit).

Slow Cooker Thai Soup
Adapted from Foodie Crush

2 tablespoons red curry paste
3 cups light coconut milk (2 cans)
2 cups 99% fat free chicken stock
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons PB2
2 pounds chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 bell pepper, seeded and sliced into 1/4 inch slices (I used orange)
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 heaping tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon lime juice
cilantro for garnish
cooked brown rice

Mix the curry paste, coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, brown sugar and peanut butter in a 4-1/2 to 6-quart slow-cooker bowl. Place the chicken breast, red bell pepper, onion and ginger in the slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 4 hours.

Add in the peas and cook for 1/2 hour longer. Stir in lime juice and serve with cilantro and brown rice.

Serves 12.

Nutritional Information Without Rice (Per Serving = Approx. 1 Cup)
Calories:  147
Protein:  17.2
Carbs:  7.7g
Fat:  5.1g (3.8g = Sat.)
Fiber:  1.1g
Sugars:  4.8g

Berry Heart Skewers

Berry Heart Skewers1 - Mimi's Fit Foods

Since Valentine’s Day is in two days, I thought I would share a fun and easy idea into the mix.  These Berry Heart Skewers are so EASY, but beyond that I think they are so super adorable.

There’s not a real recipe that goes with this post as it’s more of a simple method to ensure you get a heart shape out of your strawberries.  It’s pretty simple since strawberries already come in a shape that resembles a heart.

All you do is core the strawberries.  Then, taking a paring knife, simply cut a v-shape out of the top of the berry.  I  cut one slant down, and then I make my other cut on the opposite side.  I found that the strawberries look best if the cut is not too deep.

That’s it!  You can skewer them however you wish.  I thought the addition of blueberries was way fun and festive.

Berry Heart Skewers - Mimi's Fit Foods

You can put these out as a snack for the kids, put them in your hubby’s lunch, or you can have them as a side dish for dinner or lunch.

My sweet little toddler has been enjoying them with her PB&J for lunch!  And, because it’s Valentine’s week . . . her PB&J is shaped like a heart too (using a cookie cutter).

Berry Heart Skewers with Heart PB&J - Mimi's Fit Foods

Most importantly, I hope you have a love-filled Valentine’s Day!

Quinoa, Cranberry and Almond Stuffed Acorn Squash

Quinoa, Cranberry and Almond Stuffed Acorn Squash - Mimi's Fit Foods

I LOVED the freshness and comfort of this meal!  I love roasted squash and filling it with a delicious quinoa salad is just plain fabulous!  The roasted squash offered the “comfort” and the quinoa salad offered the “freshness.”  And, even better . . . they go SO WELL together!  The textures are amazing with the softness of the squash and quinoa being combined with the crunch of the almonds and spinach and then topped off with the chewiness of the dried cranberries.  And, probably without even having to say it, the flavors all meld well together.

This is a beautiful meatless meal.  I had a couple of acorn squash that were begging to get used so this is what came of them.  We had it for lunch and loved it.

Quinoa-Cranberry-Almond Stuffed Acorn Squash - Mimi's Fit Foods

Quinoa, Cranberry and Almond Stuffed Acorn Squash
Adapted by The Spicy RD Blog

2 acorn squash
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling on squash
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 cup water
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
2-3 cups baby spinach, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, cut acorn squash in half, vertically, and remove the seeds. Drizzle olive oil over the flesh of both pieces of squash, then sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper. Place squash, flesh side down on a foil lined sheet, and bake for 30 minutes.

While squash is baking, combine quinoa and water in a medium pan. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, and cook until water is absorbed, and quinoa is nice and fluffy.

While quinoa is cooking, heat olive oil in pan, then add onions and cook until translucent. Push onions to the side of the pan, and add almonds, stirring constantly for a couple of minutes to toast. Remove pan from heat, and set aside.

When quinoa is done cooking, pour it in to a medium bowl, then stir in onion/almond mixture, cranberries, spinach, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

When squash is cooked, remove from oven and place each piece on a plate. Scoop 1 cup of quinoa pilaf mixture in to each squash half and serve.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1 half squash filled)
Calories:  327
Protein:  8.8g
Carbs:  51.1g
Fat:  12.6g (0.6g = Sat.)
Fiber:  .6g
Sugars:  7.3g

Spicy Chipotle White Bean Hummus

Spicy Chipotle White Bean Hummus - Mimi's Fit Foods

Here’s another great recipe for game day!  I absolutely love the smokiness of chipotle peppers.  And, guess who loves them even more?  My hubby!  If I make anything with chipotle peppers in it, I’m bound to get all kinds of compliments for my kitchen craftiness.

This hummus is excellent.  I like hummus, but sometimes I find it to be a bit bland.  Not this one!  This one has a fabulous little kick from the chipotle peppers and the smokiness is enhanced by the cumin.  It’s a hummus with a Mexican twist.  Awesome!

It seriously takes all of 5 minutes to whip up, and it’s oh-so-good!  Add this to your healthy game day line-up. You won’t be mad about it.

Spicy Chipotle White Bean Hummus
Slightly Adapted from Damn Delicious

1 (15-ounce) can cannelloni beans (white kidneys), drained and rinsed
1-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (the more you use, the “hotter” it gets)
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

In the bowl of a food processor, combine cannellini beans, chipotle peppers, garlic, Meyer lemon juice, cumin and chili powder.  With the motor running, add olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified.

Serve with pita bread, crackers, chips, or veggies.

Serves 12.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 2 Tablespoons) 
Calories:  86
Protein:  1.9g
Carbs:  5.4g
Fat:  7.1g (1g = Sat.)
Fiber:  1.6g
Sugars:  0.2g

Creamy Avocado Dip

Creamy Avocado Dip - Mimi's Fit Foods

I know the Super Bowl is coming up and people are already planning their parties.  And, as we all know, while the game is the reason we get together with friends and family, the REAL reason we love the party is for the food.  Am I right!?

I’m highlighting a couple of healthy, but delicious game-day recipes this week.  Why not totally enjoy the food, but without ALL the extra calories and bad fats?

This, my friends is definitely a favorite dip of mine!  I love just about anything that has avocado in the name, and this is NO exception.  It’s kind of like guacamole, but with a little extra creaminess factor.  The addition of garlic, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice and cumin bring the flavor of the dip to a whole new level too.  We’re talking creamy, bursting with flavor, and healthy!  Yeah!

I typically serve this with Baked Tortilla Chips, but you can serve it with whatever you love (multi-grain chips, pita chips, cut-up veggies, etc.).  And, let’s just say that if (and that’s a huge IF) you were to have any leftover, you could use it on sandwiches or as a snack at home.

Here’s to planning a healthier game day!

Creamy Avocado Dip
Recipe Source:  Two Peas and Their Pod

1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
2 ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Place the yogurt, avocados, garlic, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, and cumin in a blender or food processor. Mix until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Scrape dip into a serving bowl and serve with pita chips, tortilla chips, or cut up veggies.

Makes approximately 1 3/4 Cup Dip (depending on the size of your avocados).
Serves 7.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/4 Cup)
Calories:  94.7
Protein:  2.6g
Carbs:  5.7g
Fat:  7.6g (1.1g = Sat.)
Fiber:  3.4g
Sugars:  1g

Banana and Oatmeal Cookie Bites (Two or Three Ingredients Only!)

Banana & Oatmeal Snack Bites - Mimi's Fit Foods

Okay folks!  This is the easiest recipe ever.  When I saw a version of it, I knew I had to give it a go (plus it was in Oprah’s magazine and it seems like EVERYONE trusts Oprah when it comes to what is best – haha).  I figured if these babies really did turn out to be snack-worthy, then I knew I found myself a winner.  I mean, we’re talking 15 minutes from start-to-finish and 12 of those minutes are baking time.

Winner.  I’m telling you; these win in my book.  I whipped these up in the afternoon for a little “cookie” snack for me and my sweet toddler and we BOTH loved them.  All it took was mashing two ripe banana and adding oats to them.  Done!  Before baking, I decided that I wanted some peanut butter in them.  Why?  Because I LOVE peanut butter and I’m always trying to sneak protein in my little babe’s food.  Thus, I added some PB2 to the mixture.  (Have you ever heard of PB2?  It’s awesome.  It comes in a powder form and it has 85% less fat than regular peanut butter . . . making the calorie count much less.  That being said, it adds great PB taste to smoothies and other things . . . like these cookie bites.)  If you want the peanut butter taste and you don’t have PB2 and you don’t want to buy any, then you can substitute 1/4 cup of peanut butter instead (however, keep in mind that 1/4 cup PB = 360 calories, where 2 Tablespoons of PB2 = 45 calories).

These turned out great and Baby Evie and I were thrilled to eat these little cookie bites for our afternoon snack.  In fact, she had NO patience to wait for me to snap a picture of them so she ate one right off the plate beforehand.  And, while I was snapping pictures I had to keep telling her, “no touchies.”  As soon as I was done I told her she could have another one and she waited all of .01 seconds to go in for the grab!

If you’re looking for a way to get some healthy eats into your kiddos, give these a try!  They’ll get bananas and oats for a snack without all the extra sugars and fats.  TOTALLY great!  I also think these would make great pre-workout or post-workout snacks.

Cookie anyone?

Banana and Oatmeal Snack Bites - Mimi's Fit Foods

Banana and Oatmeal Snack Bites
Adapted from Foodlets Via Oprah Magazine

2 very ripe bananas (brown spotted ones)
1 cup old-fashioned oats
2 tablespoons PB2 (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare baking sheet with a non-stick silicone liner or parchment paper.

Mash the bananas with a fork, add the oats plus PB2 (if using). Once it’s all incorporated, using a cookie scoop (1 1/2 tablespoon size) drop balls on the baking sheet and press down (like peanut butter cookies but without the fork). Bake for 12 minutes.

Makes 10 Cookies.

Nutritional Information (Per Cookie with PB2)
Calories:  55.6
Protein:  1.8g
Carbs:  11.3g
Fat:  0.8g (0g = Sat.)
Fiber:  1.6g
Sugars:  3.2g (all natural sugars, of course)

Orange Chicken and Veggie Stir-Fry

Orange Chicken and Veggie Stir-Fry - Mimi's Fit Foods

Stir-Fry is one of my go-to dinners.  It comes together in a flash, it’s healthy, and I love that it’s loaded with lots of veggies!  This time I decided to give it a nice orange flavor and it was so, so yummy!  I cut the calories down by using Tropicana 50.  It only has 50 calories per cup so I felt totally okay about doubling the sauce.  The sauce has a strong orange flavor and the sweetness is balanced with other popular Asian flavors such as garlic and ginger (orange and ginger were just meant to go together if you ask me).

To cut down on time, I bought pre-cut veggies.  So, all I had to do was cut up my chicken and I was good-to-go.  This comes together so super quick which is so nice when I have an adorable toddler pulling on my leg while I cook.  Oh, and it made a ton!  We’ve been eating leftovers and the hubby has enjoyed having a hot lunch at work the past few days.

Orange Chicken and Veggie Stir-Fry
Adapted from the Daydream Kitchen

For the Sauce:
1 cup Tropicana 50 Orange Juice
zest from one orange
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon honey

For the Stir-Fry
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
6 cups chopped fresh veggies (broccoli, peas, mushrooms, bell peppers)
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Put all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan.  Whisk together.  Over medium-high heat, bring the sauce to a boil.  Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for an additional 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Put 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet and heat over medium heat.  Season cubed chicken with salt and pepper (on both sides).  Put chicken and onions in warmed skillet and cook until onions are softened and chicken is cooked through.  Remove chicken and onions from skillet and set aside (I usually put the chicken on a plate).

Put the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in skillet.  Throw in the chopped veggies and stir-fry for about 2-4 minutes.  You want the veggies to be crisp-tender when done.  (I usually decide they are done with the broccoli turns a bright, vibrant green.)  Add chicken, onions, and sauce to the veggies and stir until warm, about one minute.

Serve over brown rice.

Serves 6 (quite generously), but can easily stretch this out to 8-10 servings.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving Without Rice)
Calories:  217.2
Protein:  26.7g
Carbs:  16.8g
Fat:  6g (0.7g = Sat.)
Fiber:  3.2g
Sugars:  7.4g

Triple Berry and Carrot Juice Detox and Antioxidant Smoothie

Triple Berry and Carrot Juice Detox and Antioxidant Smoothie - Mimi's Fit Foods

We caught some of the nasty winter germs that have been going around and have been down with colds in our house.  Ugh!  In order to help boost our immune systems we’ve been trying hard to get in as many fruits and veggies as possible.  

This little smoothie has become our breakfast drink for the past week.  The berries are LOADED with antioxidants and I love sneaking veggies in the smoothie without anyone even noticing they’re there . . . thus, the addition of carrot juice.  Fruits and veggies will help us to naturally detox and cleanse our bodies too, so this smoothie is great for any of us who may have indulged a little over the holidays.  

If you’re wondering, I buy my triple berry mix from Costco.  I also found the carrot juice at Costco and have noticed that I can get the three bottles at Costco for almost the same price it costs for 1 bottle in the grocery store.  Since we won’t be drinking ALL that carrot juice before it goes bad, I’ve decided to freeze it until I need it.

If you’re in need of a handy-dandy way to get in your fruits and veggies, here’s a great solution.  Your kids will love it too.  My little babe sees it mixing in the blender and starts chanting, “num, num, num.”  Smoothies just seem to be a special treat!

Triple Berry and Carrot Juice Detox and Antioxidant Smoothie
Mimi’s Fit Foods

1 cup frozen mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)
1/2 cup carrot juice
1/2 cup cold water
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (depending on taste)
crushed ice, optional

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (about 30 seconds).

Serves 2.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (Per Smoothie)
Calories:  110.2
Protein:  4.8g
Carbs:  22.6g
Fat:  0.4g (0.1g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.7g
Sugars:  18.4g (mostly all natural from the berries)

Roasted Beets

Roasted Beets - Mimi's Fit Foods

Beets.  You should all know that beets are SO good for you.  They contain so many good vitamins and minerals (just to name a few . . . potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron; vitamins A, B & C; beta-carotene, beta-cyanine; folic acid).  They are good for all of us, including pregnant women as the vitamin B, iron, and folic acid are good for both mommy and baby.  Among many other health benefits, beets are also a natural cleanser of the blood.

With that all being said, I know beets may not be the MOST popular vegetable found at the dinner table.  Perhaps its the taste or perhaps its just the problem of not really knowing how to to prepare them.  I am one who actually loves beets, but have never prepared my own (I’ve always eaten bottled beets or beets that someone else prepared for me).  Some beets made their appearance in a mixed produce box I ordered and I was determined to find the best way to prepare them.

The crazy thing is, after doing all my research, the very best way to prepare the beets is to roast them.  Roasting them brings out the flavor much better than boiling or steaming them.  And, even crazier, roasting them is SUPER easy and pretty mess-free.  I REALLY cannot believe that I haven’t been roasting my own beets for years.  I think I might just be planting beets in my garden this upcoming summer.

Roasted Beets
Adapted from Bobby Flay

4 medium beets, scrubbed, leaves trimmed (red or gold)
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray sheets of aluminum foil lightly with cooking spray.  Wrap beets in aluminum foil (like you would a baked potato).  Place wrapped beets on a baking sheet and roast in oven until cooked through, approximately 45-60 minutes (I find that they take closer to 60 minutes).

Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes.  Peel and slice into 1/4-inch slices.  (I peel the beets under warm, running water as this avoids staining on my hands and countertop.  They peel very easily.)

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1 Beet)
Calories:  22
Protein:  1g
Carbs:  5g
Fat:  0g
Fiber:  1g
Sugars:  4g