If Owen Wilson’s character in Zoolander had gone by any other name, it should have been Quinoa: “Quinoa, so hot right now. Quinoa.” Seriously, it’s the pop food. I only heard about it recently and all of the sudden I see recipes for it everywhere. I turned to quinoa in an effort to break my bread and pasta addiction. It reminds me of couscous, but Quinoa is a grain-like crop with protein filled seeds. Apparently the Incas considered them sacred – I think they were on to something.
I don’t know about y’all, but my biggest food struggle is lunch. I go through 2 phases: 1 – I make the same (boring) turkey sandwich or 2 – I eat out. Neither option is working for me. However, when I made quinoa for the first time I made enough to last all week – and I actually looked forward to eating it! Now, I realize that eating the same thing every day for a long period of time will eventually make you hate the sight of it; but quinoa is an easy dish to make at the beginning of the week and provide at least a couple of easy healthy lunches. For me this is a great step to better eating that is still satisfying; I hope it helps you too!
Southwest Quinoa, makes 4-5 servings
- 1 cup red quinoa
- 1 can 14 oz. black beans, drained & rinsed
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
- 2 bell peppers, roughly chopped (I used one red and one orange)
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 chipotle in adobo sauce, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- salt & pepper
Original recipe here at Closet Cooking.
Thoroughly rinse the quinoa in a strainer to wash away the bitter taste (my strainer has big holes so I put 3 layers of paper towels on top of it). Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a pan. Toast the quinoa for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Transfer the quinoa to a sauce pan with 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil then lower to a simmer. Partially cover the pan and let sit for 20 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and transfer to a big bowl. Add the black beans, corn, peppers, green onion and cilantro. In a small bowl mix the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, lime juice, chipotle in adobo sauce and cumin. Pour the dressing over the quinoa and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.