It’s a meal prep myth that the containers stacked in your fridge need to consist of separate, singular foods like rice, chicken, or roasted potatoes. It can actually be faster to make one all-star dish on Sunday that covers multiple nutrient bases and is already spiced up. Think a seasoned dish isn’t versatile to reuse throughout the week? Think again.
The proof is in the pudding, or in this case, the black bean enchilada quinoa recipe from Effortless Vegan author Sarah Nevins. Enchiladas, a Mexican dish with roots dating back to the Mayan and Aztec empires, is traditionally made with corn tortillas rolled around flavorful fillings, then cooked in a sauce; Nevins’s dish instead uses some classic enchilada ingredients (like black beans, cumin, and tomatoes) to add extra flavor to cooked quinoa. Not only does this meal work as a stand-alone dinner full of fiber, protein, and veggies, it can absolutely be reworked into completely different meals without having to do any other dedicated meal prep. (Score!)
Here, Nevins shares her take on enchiladas along with five ways to reuse it—none of which heat up the kitchen. Read ahead to see her dinner ideas so you know what items to buy at the store, and get the shopping list for her black bean enchilada quinoa recipe below.
Black bean enchilada quinoa
Yields 6 servings
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup white onion, diced
1 cup red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed and diced
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
15 oz. enchilada sauce
1/2 tsp salt
Tortilla chips for serving
Sour cream and cheese (or vegan sour cream and vegan cheese) for serving, optional
1. In a large skillet or pot, warm the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic and cumin. Cook for three to four minutes or until the onion is softened.
2. Next, add the quinoa, black beans, corn, diced tomatoes and enchilada sauce to the skillet. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 20 minutes, stirring every so often. When most of the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is soft, it’s done.
3. Taste and season with salt if needed. Serve with a side of tortillas chips, sour cream and cheese and enjoy.
4. Save the remaining five servings of enchilada quinoa in an air-tight container and store in the fridge, for up to one week.
How to use your black bean enchilada quinoa in a whole week’s worth of no-heat dinners:
Monday: Enchilada salad
This is the least sad salad ever. Simply add a cup of the enchilada quinoa to a large bed of chopped lettuce. Crumble some tortilla chips on top for added crunch and add diced avocado for creaminess. Instead of dressing, top it off with salsa instead. Toss it all together and enjoy!
Tuesday: Lettuce wraps
Tortillas are great wraps, but using lettuce here to make a wrap adds extra phytonutrients and fiber to your already-healthy enchilada quinoa base. Add a serving of the enchilada quinoa to washed lettuce leaves. Then, add whatever toppings you like. Some ideas: cilantro, diced onions, sour cream, cheese, or guacamole.
Wednesday: Tofu burrito bowls
Incorporating tofu into your leftover enchilada quinoa brings added protein, which makes this a great plant-based post-workout dinner. Press the liquid out of an eight-ounce block of firm tofu, then dice it into cubes. Mix together two tablespoons tamari or soy sauce, one tablespoon apple cider vinegar, one teaspoon garlic powder, and two tablespoons of water. Toss the mixture with the diced tofu, and let it marinate for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, assemble your burrito bowl by combining a serving of leftover enchilada quinoa (you can re-heat in the microwave if you want), tortilla chips, guacamole, salsa, and cauliflower rice. Top with the marinated tofu and you’re good to go!
Thursday: Avocado boats
Avocado boats sound fancy, but they’re a cinch to make. Just cut an avocado in half lengthwise and remove the pit. Scoop out about a tablespoon from each half to make room for the fillings. Then, stuff each hollowed out avocado half with the leftover enchilada quinoa, then top with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. The healthy fats from the avocado combined with the protein and fiber from the enchilada quinoa make this a truly satiating meal.
Tostadas are a perfect way to add some crunch to every bite of your enchilada quinoa, and you can buy the shells already toasted so you don’t have to do it yourself. Spread a generous amount of guacamole onto your tostadas and then add the last of your enchilada quinoa. Add chopped lettuce, salsa, sour cream, and cheese—or feel free to play around with other topping choices, too. The fun part about this meal is that everyone can make their own so it can be completely customized for individual preferences and dietary choices.
Get more healthy cooking inspiration in Well+Good’s Cook With Us Facebook group.