For Meatless Monday this week, we decided to try something new for us: quinoa (pronounced keen-wa). Quinoa is a South American grain that is relatively high is protein and is actually a “complete protein” (that’s pretty unusual for a plant-based food). Because of this, quinoa is a great grain for a meatless diet. It also easy to prepare, cooking just like white rice, using a 2:1 liquid to quinoa ratio, bringing to a boil, covering, reducing heat, and simmering for 15-20 minutes.
The beauty of this dish is that it worked out quite well as a main dish, but would be beautiful as a side. Because we have leftovers, we are absolutely going to do this later in the week. I just love “double duty dishes”!
As far as the recipe goes, I cheated a bit and found this recipe online. I will reproduce it here and provide a link, but I have to give proper credit. I was searching for a quinoa recipe and the allrecipes.com version jumped out at me. The only thing I did different was to add a medium bell pepper with the onions and garlic and to top with a little green onion at the end.
As a note: Beth is not a big fan of black beans. Overall, she enjoyed the dish, but we agreed to pare it down to just one can of beans next time. If you have an aversion to black beans, you might heed that advice before trying this dish.
Picture to come tomorrow … we forgot to take one tonight!
Quinoa and Black Beans
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
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,
Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.
We hope that you give this a try and let us know what you think. Enjoy!