Quinoa, Broccoli & Chicken Enchiladas with Cheddar Beer Sauce

Inspired by the classic broccoli cheese soup, I made this enchilada recipe. It is stuffed with quinoa, broccoli and chicken. If you are vegetarian (or want to skip on the chicken), substitute it for 2 extra cups of finely chopped broccoli. For the sauce, I made a simple roux, then added grated Cheddar and some pale beer. I also added some sour cream to make it silkier. This is a very filling dish, perfect for this time of the year. I should have bought some Coronas and pretend it is Friday already.

This recipe makes 8 enchiladas.

Ingredients:

For the Filling:
1 cup of white quinoa (I prefer this type for this recipe, as it is fluffier and absorbs the sauce better)
225grs of chicken breast
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of celery salt
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon of chipotle powder
12 cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
1 cup tomato puree
2 cups of finely chopped broccoli
Salt
1 cup shredded Gouda

For the Sauce:
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of flour
2 cups of pale beer, I used Heineken
300grs of Cheddar cheese, grated
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon of mustard powder
125ml of sour cream
Salt to taste

For the tortillas:
8 large tortillas
1 cup of tomato puree
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of celery salt

Toppings:
125ml of sour cream
Chili Flakes
Garden cress (optional) or Fresh coriander leaves
Lime wedges
1 avocado, thinly sliced
10 cherry tomatoes, finely chopped (I used red, yellow and orange)

 

First cook the quinoa. Rinse it under cold water and then boil it for 12 minutes. Drain it and set it aside.

While the quinoa is cooking, boil the chicken breast in another pot for about 10 minutes. I sliced it in half so that it cooks through quicker. Once the chicken is cooked, shred it with two forks. Set it aside.

In a large pan, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium-low heat. Add the red onion. Cook while stirring for about 3 minutes until the onion is translucent. Then add the garlic, spices and cherry tomatoes. Cook for another 2 minutes while stirring.

Then add the tomato puree, shredded chicken, broccoli and quinoa. Don’t worry about the raw broccoli, it will finish cooking in the oven. Add a pinch of salt, the cooked quinoa and the shredded Gouda. Mix well and set it aside.

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Start making the Cheddar beer sauce. Melt the butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the flour. Stir for 2-3 minutes until it thickens and becomes a golden color. Then slowly add the beer while stirring. Stir for 3 minutes.

Then slowly add the grated cheddar while whisking. Keep whisking for about 6 minutes until it thickens.
Turn off the heat and add the Worcestershire sauce, mustard, sour cream and salt to taste. Whisk until everything is well combined. Then set it aside.

Pour about ½ a cup of the cheddar beer sauce in your oven dish.

To assemble the enchilada, first place 1 cup of tomato puree in a small bowl. Add the onion powder, garlic powder and celery salt. Mix well. Place one tortilla on a cutting board. Brush both sides of the tortilla with the tomato sauce. Then stuff it with the quinoa filling and roll it tight. Place it in the prepared baking dish. Repeat for the rest.

Pour the remaining Cheddar beer sauce over the stuffed tortillas. Bake it for 20 minutes. Then broil it for about 5 minutes, keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t burn.

To serve, spread some of the sour cream in the middle of the enchilada. Add the chopped cherry tomatoes in the middle, sprinkle some garden cress and chili flakes. Finally add the sliced avocado. Serve right away with lime wedges.

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Black Kale, Butternut Squash & Cheddar Strata with Homemade Tomato Jam

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Not too long ago, I had a bread pudding for dessert at a restaurant. It had been ages since the last time I had one. Back at home I got that craving again, but for a savory version. So I made this one with black kale and butternut squash. It’s great  for brunch or dinner.

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This recipe is for a 23cm skillet.

Ingredients:

For the tomato jam:

1 kilo of ripe tomatoes

1 ¼ sugar

Juice of 1 lime

1 teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons of ginger syrup

Chili flakes to taste (optional)

For the strata:

1 small butternut squash (peeled, seeded and finely chopped)

3 tablespoons of olive oil

5 cups of chopped black kale, without the hard stems

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of onion powder

Pinch salt

Pepper

150gr of grated cheddar

5 cups of chopped baguette

For the milk mixture:

4 eggs

2 cups of milk

Pinch of salt

Pinch of nutmeg

Pinch of pepper

 

Start by making the tomato jam; boil some water in a large saucepan. Score a shallow x into the bottom of each tomato. Then carefully drop them into the boiling water and let them sit there for about 25 seconds. Then drained them. Carefully peel them and roughly chop them.

Place the tomatoes in a medium saucepan with the remaining ingredients for the jam. Let them cook over medium heat for about 35 minutes, stirring from time to time to prevent the bottom from burning. Taste for salt. Then transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool down.

To make the strata, place the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the butternut squash and cook it for about 5 minutes, while stirring. Then add the kale, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes until the kale starts to wilt. Then turn off the heat.

Grease with vegetable oil a 23cm cast iron skillet or a small oven dish.

In a medium bowl; whisk the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

To assemble the strata, spread half of the bread over the bottom of the skillet. Then add half of the butternut squash/kale mixture, and then half of the grated cheese. Add the remaining bread, follow it with the squash/kale mixture.  Press with your fingers or a spatula to make it compact. Then pour in the milk mixture. Finish it by adding the remaining grated cheddar. Let it stand in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Bake the strata for 40 minutes. Serve warm with the tomato jam and enjoy!

Tip: you’ll have some tomato jam leftover, I used it to make some grilled cheese sandwiches.

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Beluga Lentil Chili with Crispy Kale

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It’s been a long time since I’ve made chili, so I made some today but with beluga lentils. I made it this morning and have been snaking on it throughout the day, luckily I made plenty to last for dinner. I served it with some crispy kale, avocado, cheddar and sour cream. I also made some cornbread to go along with it. Perfect for meatless Monday!

This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 red onion, chopped

2 bell peppers, chopped

1 jalapeño pepper, chopped

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of onion powder

Pinch of cayenne

½ teaspoon of paprika powder

Pinch of cumin or more to taste

Salt

1.5 litters of vegetable stock

500ml of tomato pure

1 tablespoon of honey

2 cups of beluga lentils

For the crispy kale:

4 cups of shredded kale

4 tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of lemon pepper

Pinch of salt

Toppings:

Grated cheddar

Sliced avocado

Sour cream

 

Place the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven, over medium heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, jalapeño and all the spices. Cook for 3 minutes while stirring.

Add the vegetable stock and the tomato puree. Stir to mix it and let it cook for 10 minutes. Then using an immersion blender, blend it until smooth.

Add the lentils and honey. Let it cook for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time until most of the liquid has reduced and the lentils are cooked through.

To make the crispy kale, preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Mix the kale with the olive oil, lemon pepper and salt. Spread the kale in a single layer on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes until the kale becomes crispy.

Serve the lentil chili with a dollop of sour cream, avocado slices, grated cheddar and some of the crispy kale. Enjoy!

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