About three years ago I made quinoa. I cooked it in water and didn’t add any spices. It was incredibly bland and tasted…well, “gross” was the only word that came to mind. In other words, I said to myself “I’m never making this again.” For that reason, I’m really not selling quinoa to you, but stay with me here. I kept hearing that quinoa is so healthy and I know a bunch of people that really like it, so I thought I’d give it another try with this recipe. It may have taken me a few years to get here but I’m glad that I was open-minded. This dish actually tastes great!
The quinoa picks up flavors from the black beans, corn, onions, and seasoning, making it anything but bland and boring. This is now one of my favorite vegetarian meal options.
Quinoa and Black Beans Recipe
(6 to 10 servings, depending on whether you serve it as a main dish or a side dish)
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 and 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup corn
- 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- fresh cilantro, garnish (optional)
- In a saucepan over Medium heat, heat the oil.
- Stir in the chopped onion and minced garlic. Cook until slightly brown.
- Mix in the quinoa, vegetable broth, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.
- Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Stir in the corn and black beans and continue to simmer about 5 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
This dish can be made in about 30 minutes and in only one pot! How awesome is that? Start by cooking the chopped onion and minced garlic until they are slightly brown.
Once you’ve put almost everything else into the pot and brought it to a boil you just need to lower the heat and walk away for 20 minutes. I set my timer and did some house chores. Yay for being able to multi-task. 🙂
The aroma from the cumin and cayenne pepper is amazing already! It smells like we are at a Mexican restaurant. Where’s the mariachi band? 😉 (Sorry about the steam in the picture below.)
Quinoa is a grain and is a great source of nutrients and protein. Think rice, only with almost twice as much protein. Once it has absorbed the liquid it’s done cooking (also similar to how you cook rice). Stir in the corn and black beans at the end since they don’t really need much cooking and the goal is just to make them hot with everything else in the pot.
The wonderful blend of these spices gives it a Mexican twist, especially since there are black beans in this dish. Black beans in a Mexican dish? That almost never happens. 😉
There is a variety of textures going on here. The corn is crunchy, the black beans are soft, and the quinoa is chewy and has that earthy crunchy good for you thing going on sort of like brown rice. (There’s that comparison to rice again.)
This healthy dish is packed with so much protein from the quinoa and beans. It’s an ideal vegetarian dinner or lunch. You can also use it as a side dish. I think it would be awesome next to tacos (of course that means it may not be vegetarian meal anymore, but that would be up to you).
Do you like quinoa? How do you make it? Do you say it right? 😉
Source: All Recipes
In the mood for a Mexican themed night? Here’s a suggested menu and decor.
Appetizer: Black Bean Spread with Tortilla chips
Dinner: Black Bean & Chicken Chilaquiles
Table Decor: Fiesta Tablescape