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Red Chile Quinoa, Kale and Calabacita Enchiladas

This winning recipe was featured in Greens and Grains.

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Gail Patterson | Cooke County EC

This hearty and flavorful quinoa-kale mixture makes more than you’ll need for enchiladas, but you’ll appreciate the leftovers—for tacos, veggie lasagna, or as a vegan side dish or main course.

2 cups quinoa
5 cups vegetable stock, divided use
4–6 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
2 medium onions, chopped
2 pounds diced calabacita squash or zucchini
3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 pounds baby kale mix or stemmed regular kale
Vegetable oil, as needed
16 corn tortillas
8 cups red chile enchilada sauce, divided use
1 pound shredded colby jack cheese, divided use

1. Rinse and cook the quinoa according to package directions, using 4 cups of vegetable stock in place of the water, and set aside to cool slightly when done.

2. Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until translucent, 7–10 minutes. Add the squash and garlic and continue cooking until the squash softens, about 10 minutes.

3. Add the remaining olive oil, if needed, and half the kale to the skillet and cook, stirring, until wilted. Add the remaining kale and continue to cook until wilted. Gently fold the cooked quinoa into the vegetable mixture. Add the reserved broth only if the mixture seems too dry. Set aside to cool.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

5. Heat a thin layer of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, drag tortillas through the oil to soften them up, and stack on one end of a rimmed baking sheet.

6. Pour a puddle of enchilada sauce next to the tortillas. Dip both sides of a tortilla in sauce. Fill tortilla with about 1/4 cup kale-quinoa mixture and about a tablespoon of cheese. Roll tortilla into a snug cylinder.

7. Pour a thin layer of enchilada sauce into a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and swirl to evenly coat the bottom. Place enchilada seam-side-down in prepared pan and repeat with remaining tortillas.

8. Pour the remaining sauce over the prepared enchiladas and cover with the remaining cheese. Bake 30–45 minutes, until hot and bubbly.

Makes 8–10 servings.

Cook’s Tip

Calabacita is a Mexican squash typically sold alongside tomatillos and poblano peppers. Feel free to use zucchini or a mix of zucchini and yellow crookneck squash instead.

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