I am ALWAYS on the hunt for easy weeknight meals that take under an hour to make (and that’s total time). With that being said, I’ve recently started using Pinterest a lot more when it comes to meal planning and finding/saving new ideas. It’s my favorite tool right now.
I pinned a Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Bake recipe by Two Peas and Their Pod over the weekend, added it to this week’s meal plan, and made it yesterday. It turned out so well that I had to share the outcome. Besides fitting my “under an hour” expectation, it was delicious, filling, and customizable. And we now have leftovers for days <—the best!
I particularly love these kinds of recipes because they serve as more of a framework than precise steps. So while I followed the recipe fairly closely, I was able to change some things as I went along and make it my own.
- I used a quinoa rice mix we got at Costco instead of just quinoa.
- I also increased the amount of veggies in the dish – one large onion vs. a small one, 3 bell peppers (green, yellow, and red) vs. just two, one entire can of corn vs. a cup.
- With the spices, I doubled the amount of cumin and added a little extra chili powder.
- Since we didn’t have fresh cilantro, I used a cilantro paste instead (the kind that comes in a tube). A couple of good squeezes was all I needed.
- Vishnu isn’t the biggest fan of black beans, so I used one can instead of two.
- I bought Trader Joe’s red enchilada sauce over the weekend (very good!). Since the recipe calls for two cups of sauce, I added the 12 ounce bottle plus a can of diced roasted tomatoes.
- Goat Gouda is my new favorite cheese, so I used that instead of shredded Mexican cheese.
Unless a recipe involves multiple new-to-me ingredients and/or a completely new cooking method, I don’t follow it to a tee. I find that for weekday meals I gravitate towards these kinds of recipes because they allow me creative freedom while providing some structure. This makes everything easy – from planning to shopping to executing.