Big Flavors For Small Lazy Person
Updated: Nov 15, 2020
Happy Veterans Day! I did not know my day job gave us today off until last week. I think company policy changed to no more Columbus Day/Indigenous People Day off, but we get Veterans Day now which I'm all for. But yo, when is Chinese New Year gonna get officialized too, I ask. When?! Anyhoo, I slept in til noon cause I was at Rara Darling/Midnight Moon's Keep Easy Sunday show til late last night. I woke up craving for Mexican flavors but also felt very lazy. Time for the slow cooker! I know there are lots of fancier versions of slow cookers out there now, but I love my Ninja 3-in-1 and have been using this for 5 years. I've made countless dishes in it, I love it! (3-in-1 meaning saute, slow cook, and steam functions)
I quickly found a recipe on WellPlated.com for Crock Pot Mexican Casserole that is gluten-free, dug around my cupboard to see what else I needed (black beans, diced tomato, bell peppers, red enchilada sauce), and headed out to my corner bodega. Being a lazy person, I tried the bodega that is literally on the next block from my house, 40 steps away, I counted. This bodega is kinda dark inside, may have rats... aisles are jammed so tightly together two people can not pass without going sideways. They put things in strange categories... I supposed quinoa could look like bird food LOL
But they are heavily stocked with Spanish food so naturally, I thought I could find red enchilada canned sauce there but I was wrong! So I had to walk 6 minutes to the bigger grocery store in Bushwick/Bedsty, ugh...lazy person who wants to cook something nightmare. Well, I found red enchilada sauce and all the other things PLUS more ingredients to make a creamy tomato basil lasagna later this week cuz my basil plant is withering away now that it's colder so Imma eat her up before she goes completely kaputz!
Also: KITCHEN HACK ALERT! Check out this vegetable chopper hack that I use: Kuhn Rikon Chop Chop. Especially for onions, I cut them up loosely in big pieces and throw them in the Chop Chop, pull the string lever and it does all the work. I've made fresh salsa in this too, the more you pull, the finer the chopped pieces. It's fun to use, it makes a donkey-like sound when you pull. Fun fun! And no tears.
My modifications to the OG recipe:
I used skinless, boneless chicken thighs instead cause that's all I had in the freezer
I used garlic paste instead of garlic powder
I used a can of Petie Diced Tomatoes (Jalapeno Habanero Hot) instead of Fire-Roasted Diced Tomato
And the end result is BIG BOLD SPICY FLAVORS! I really think its cause I used the Jalapeno Diced tomato! If you are a novice spice eater, I would use the regular one.
The OG recipe from WellPlated:
Crock Pot Mexican Casserole
yield: 8 SERVINGS
prep time:10 MINS
cook time:6 HRStotal time:6 HRS 15 MINS
Super easy and DELICIOUS Crock Pot Mexican Casserole with quinoa, black beans, and ground chicken or turkey. Healthy, gluten-free comfort food!
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 medium yellow onion — diced
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cans red enchilada sauce — (10 ounce cans) (mild or medium)
1 can black beans — (15 ounces), drained and rinsed
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes in their juices — (15 ounces)
1 cup corn kernels — fresh or frozen
1 red bell pepper — cored and diced
1 green bell pepper — cored and diced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup water
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese — divided
For serving: chopped fresh cilantro — diced avocado, chopped green onion, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high. Add the turkey and onion. Cook and stir, breaking up the turkey as you go, until the turkey is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the bottom of a large slow cooker. To the slow cooker, add the quinoa, enchilada sauce, black beans, tomatoes, corn, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and 1/2 cup water. Stir to combine, then cover and cook on high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or low for 5 to 6 hours, until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Remove the lid and stir. Taste and adjust any seasonings as desired. Stir in 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese, then sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Cover and cook on high until the cheese melts, about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot with any desired toppings.
I have added my whole insta story of each recipe at the top of the blog. What do you think? Do you like being able to see the video? Leave a comment below!