Creamy Veggie-Stuffed Enchiladas with Spanish Quinoa

Cheese and Veggie Enchilada10

I’ve been having some intense cravings lately. Before you start in on the “you must be pregnant” jokes (which are ALWAYS funny, btw), let me remind you that it is LATE March and Minnesota has been having high temperatures in the teens. If that’s not an excuse to treat myself to yummy comfort food, then I don’t know what is.

The hardest craving to ignore? Mexican. The salty, cheesy, and rich combinations just hunker down and warm you up, no matter how frigid it may be outdoors.

cheese and veggie-stuffed enchiladas

The blustery weather has resulted in many-a-Mexican meal for The Beast and I as of late. A few weeks ago we made a Mexican casserole, and then many enchilada experiments followed. In my new favorite variation, I keep things healthy and filling with veggies, thick and creamy Greek yogurt, and a ridiculously easy homemade sauce.

spanish quinoa

Little-known fact on enchilada sauce: deciding on a store-bought variety can prove to be a tricky task. The first one we tried tasted metallic and full of chemicals (even though the ingredient label looked only moderately offensive). The second option we bought tasted fine, but included red food coloring, because apparently tomatoes aren’t red enough on their own. Finally I took things into my own hands and made it from scratch, and I will never go back. The sauce comes together in 20 minutes, and it is DEEEELICIOUS.

To make our homemade Mexican even better, we always serve it with the simplest and yummiest side ever: Spanish quinoa. I’ve discussed spanish quinoa before (try not to judge my early-blog photography too harshly), but it would be a shame if it were forgotten or ignored, so I must mention it again today. You’ll thank me.

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Fresh Veggie Quinoa Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

veggie packed quinoa with lemon tahini dressing11

It’s March! That’s the start of spring, right? The Beast and I went on a vacation last week (more on that later…) and on the first day The Beast said to me, “You know what’s nice? When we come home it’ll almost be golf season.” The next day he said the same thing, but replaced “golf season” with “spring,” and then he went so far as to say we’d basically be coming home to summer. Welcome to the mind of a Minnesotan.

We ended up flying home in the middle of a snow storm…welcome to the life of a Minnesotan.

veggie packed quinoa with lemon tahini dressing2

When warm weather becomes such a foreign concept that I can’t even remember what it feels like to walk outside without the cold stealing my breath away, I like to eat something that at least reminds me of summertime. Take this salad, for instance. It’s jam-packed with fresh veggies, bright flavors, and pretty colors…which sounds silly, but when you live in a monochromatic winter world, colorful food helps.

veggie packed quinoa with lemon tahini dressing10

As a bit of a texture freak, I love the multiple crunches that come up as you bite through the raw onions, red pepper, and sliced almonds. Alongside that crunch, you get juicy tomatoes, nutty quinoa, and bright, creamy lemon tahini dressing. It’s so refreshing you might just think summer has a chance of coming around…eventually.

veggie packed quinoa with lemon tahini dressing5

I actually made this salad a few days before we left for vacation, thinking it would help get me in the spring/warm weather swing of things. Mission accomplished!…until we actually arrived for our vacation and experienced a very cold, very windy version of Florida. Oh well, it’s almost summer here anyway.

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