If you’re a mom (at any stage in life), then you’re probably familiar with that little thing that we affectionately call, “Mommy Guilt.” You know, that pit in your stomach after you lose your temper and yell at your child? The shame that comes from those evenings of utter exhaustion when you opt for the drive-thru in lieu of an Instagram-worthy dinner of quinoa, kale, and kombucha? Or that voice in your ear that says you’re never enough…you shouldn’t work so hard/be away from the home so much/have your own interests, WHATEVER?! Well guess what…that has GOT to stop. Because you are enough, you are a good mom, and at the end of the day, we’re all just doing the best that we can.
Let’s end the judgment, the self-critique, the comparison, and the Mommy Guilt. There’s no place for it! If your child knows that he’s loved, then you are AWESOME. If your partner feels appreciated, then you’re doing something right! And on the off chance that you’re having one of those evenings where the burger joint is calling your name, you can either swing right through and not give it a second thought (no problem with that!), or you can pull together these simple ingredients and toss an easy dump-and-bake quinoa casserole into the oven. I’m pretty sure that this meal comes together as quickly as a Happy Meal!
The entire dinner — bell peppers, onions, chicken, and quinoa — goes into ONE dish raw. Add some sauce and seasoning, give it a stir, and an hour later…
a dinner masterpiece! It’s full of familiar Mexican-inspired flavors that your family will love, but it’s also loaded with plenty of veggies, lean protein, and whole grains for a nutritious supper. The best of all worlds. My boys seriously devoured multiple servings of this particular dinner!
While the quinoa cooks in the oven, you can go ahead and pour yourself a glass of wine, call a friend, paint your nails, or read a magazine. Take a shower alone (gasp!), shop online, or pursue that hobby that you’ve been itching to start.
Whatever you decide to do, please don’t give dinner a second thought. There’s no room in your life for Mommy Guilt, and in the end…your kids are eating quinoa! I’d say that’s a WIN.
Dump and Bake Chicken Fajita Quinoa
- 2 large uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 lbs.), cut into bite-sized pieces (you can easily substitute with 2 lbs. of boneless thighs or tenders if you prefer)
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 (15 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, NOT drained
- 2 tablespoons fajita seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup taco sauce
- Optional toppings: diced avocado, sliced green onion, olives, shredded cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- In the prepared dish, stir together diced chicken, uncooked quinoa, bell peppers, onion, and diced tomatoes (with juices). Sprinkle with fajita seasoning and salt; toss to coat.
- In a small bowl, whisk together water and taco sauce. Pour over quinoa mixture and stir to combine.
- Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for about 1 hour. Remove the cover and check to make sure that the quinoa and chicken are both cooked through.* If necessary, stir and return to the oven for a few more minutes (or until done). Serve immediately with optional toppings.
- Note: you can prepare this dish ahead of time, cover, and refrigerate until ready to bake.
*If you’d like to top the dish with shredded cheese, just sprinkle about ½ cup cheese over top of the dish once it’s finished baking. Place the dish back in the oven (uncovered) for about 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese melts.
Cooking for Only 2? Cut the recipe ingredients in half and bake in an 8-inch or 9-inch square dish.
Want to prep ahead? You can assemble the dish in advance, cover it, and keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake!