(By Bonnie S. Benwick, Washington Post)
Chances are good that if you peek inside my lunch container in the next few months or ask me to bring something to a potluck, it will be some version of this recipe…
Which is another way of saying that I don’t expect I’ll grow tired of it.
Any time you combine a blend of spices commonly featured in Tex-Mex dishes with tomato, black beans, corn and peppers, I am in. Here, they snuggle with quinoa in the same pot, rendering that “not a grain but acts like one” ingredient tender and flavourful and part of a happy jumble.
The mixture is satisfying on its own, warm or at room temperature. But it accepts add-ins quite graciously, and therein lies its grain-bowl utility. Add cubes of leftover chicken or ham, chunks of ripe avocado, roasted vegetables. Thus far, I have sprinkled the remains of a tortilla chip bag on top; stirred in crumbles of queso fresco; covered a bowlful with toasted sesame seeds and shredded nori; added cashews, mandarin orange sections and a citrusy dressing.
But wait, there’s more! I plan to combine this quinoa dish with some of my favourite chopped-salad greens, and maybe some flakes of smoked fish or pickled onions.
Are your own meal wheels turning yet? Make a batch in 30 minutes, then have fun with it.
Mexican Quinoa With . . .
2 or 3 servings
…whatever you have on hand – ripe avocado, cooked chicken or turkey, cured chorizo slices, zucchini or leftover roasted vegetables. The quinoa cooks to a lovely bronze color and is imbued with familiar flavours.
Adapted from “Dinner Just for Two,” by Christina Lane (Countryman Press, 2019).
- 1/2 medium orange bell pepper
- 1 medium jalapeño pepper (may substitute a pinch of ground cayenne pepper)
- 2 medium cloves garlic
- 3/4 cup canned, no-salt-added black beans
- 1/2 cup dried white quinoa
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 cup no-salt-added vegetable broth or water
- 3/4 cup canned, no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels (regular or fire-roasted)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Small handful parsley (may substitute cilantro)
- 1 lime, for serving
- Sour cream, for serving
- Discard the stem, seeds and white ribs from the bell pepper, then dice the remaining flesh into 1/4-inch pieces. Repeat with jalapeño, except you will mince instead of dice. Mince the garlic.
- Drain the black beans. Rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer.
- Heat the oil in a medium saucepan until shimmering, over medium heat. Stir in the bell pepper, jalapeño and garlic; cook for 1 minute, then add the chili powder, cumin and dried oregano, stirring to incorporate.
- Cook for 1 minute, then add the rinsed/drained quinoa, the broth or water, the drained tomatoes and beans, the corn, salt and pepper. Stir to distribute evenly, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 15 minutes, at which point the liquid should be absorbed. If not, keep cooking for an few more minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Coarsely chop the parsley, then gently stir some of it into the quinoa, along with any add-in ingredient you have on hand.
- Cut the lime into wedges. Top each portion with a dollop of sour cream and serve with the lime wedges.
The nutritional analysis is based on 3 servings.
Nutrition | Calories: 290; Total Fat: 9 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 5 mg; Sodium: 280 mg; Carbohydrates: 41 g; Dietary Fiber: 9 g; Sugars: 5 g; Protein: 10 g.
Author: ANA Newswire