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Mexican Black Bean and Quinoa Lasagna with Ancho Chili Sauce

Posted By archives On April 5, 2010 @ 9:28 am In Beans and Legumes | No Comments

Recipe By: Sara Moulton and Jean Anderson, The GMA Cut the Calories Cookbook
Serving Size: 6

SAUCE:

* 2 large ancho chili peppers — (see tip)
* 1 cup boiling water
* 1 can crushed tomatoes — (28-ounce)
* 1/4 cup minced garlic — (an entire medium-size bulb)
* 1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano — crumbled
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

LASAGNE:

* 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa — (see headnote), rinsed three times in cool water
* 1 1/2 cups water
* Pinch salt
* 12 no-salt-added corn tortillas — (6-inch)
* 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions — (include some green tops) (6-8 medium-size scallions)
* 1 can black beans — (15-ounce), rinsed and drained
* 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Makes 6 to 8 servings

BARRY COHEN, Cherry Hill, New Jersey

To the ancient Incas, the ivory-colored beads of quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) were “the Mother Grain,” a sustainer of life in hard times in the high Andes. Except for a green-peanutlike aftertaste, quinoa is as bland as rice. Unlike rice, however, it packs a lot of protein. Most organic groceries and health food stores stock quinoa and some of the better supermarkets also carry it.

TIP: To make the sauce, you must handle ancho chili peppers (nothing more than dried poblanos and now widely available). The sweetest of the dried chilies and only mild to medium-hot, anchos can still cause you grief if you should rub your face-and especially your eyes-while working with them. SO, do as the pros do and wear surgical rubber gloves.

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Coat 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

2. For sauce: Soak ancho chilies in boiling water 10 minutes. Cool and drain, reserving soaking water. Remove stems, seeds, and strings inside chilies and add to soaking water. Drop chilies into food processor and set aside.

3. Strain chili soaking water into second ungreased 13 x 9 x 2 -inch baking dish, add tomatoes, garlic, oregano, cumin, and black pepper. Stir well, then roast uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from oven (but leave oven on) and cool 15 minutes. Add to food processor with chilies and pulse about I minute until smooth; set ancho sauce aside.

4. For lasagne: Place quinoa, water, and salt in medium-size heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Adjust heat so water bubbles gently, then boil quinoa uncovered until all water is absorbed-about 15 minutes.

5. To assemble lasagne, cover bottom of prepared baking dish with 6 tortillas, overlapping as needed. Layer quinoa on top, spread with half the reserved ancho sauce, and sprinkle evenly with all the scallions. Cover with remaining 6 tortillas, again overlapping as needed, spoon black beans evenly over all, and spread with remaining ancho sauce.

6. Cover with aluminum foil, placing dull side up, and bake until bubbly-about 20 minutes.

7. Lift off aluminum foil and let lasagne stand at room temperature 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro, cut into squares, and serve.

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