Monday, February 28, 2011

Quinoa and Black Beans

disregard our little fragments of chips
 we got from the bottom of the bag :)
Quinoa (keen-wah) is great.  If you need a break from rice, give it a try! It's actually not a grain, but a seed related to the spinach family.  It seems like a grain, though!  It's also a complete protein and it a great source of fiber.  It's also gluten free.
I haven't tried out a ton of things with it yet, but this recipe t turned out really good!  It had a lot of flavour and costs very little. It reminded me of a chilli, but without all the fat of beef.
Here is the main recipe, but I also mentioned some good variations at the end.

Quinoa and Black Beans:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c red and/or green peppers, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 3/4 c uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 c vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 c corn kernals
  • 2 cans (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and brained
  • 1/2 c cilantro
  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in the onions, peppers, and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
  2. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.  Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
  3. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.
Other options:
  • Some people find quinoa a little bitter. If you rinse it first this seems to solve the problem. Personally, I didn't rinse it and it tasted fine.
  • If you prefer a softer consistency, soak the quinoa in the vegetable broth first (about 20 minutes, or just the time it takes to prepare the vegetables)
  • If you don't want to add the oil, just boil everything with the quinoa instead.  I did this, and it was just fine.  
  • If you don't have the fresh veggies, just use dehydrated onions or onion powder (and skip the salt), and dried red chili peppers.
  • A good addition is canned tomatoes with a bit of the juice.  It will taste even more like chili. 
  • We ate ours with tortilla chips, but I think it would also be great just by itself or in a tortilla wrap.
  • This is good either hot or cold, so feel free to make extras to take leftovers!
  • Feel free to use less or more beans and corn.

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