Tuesday, August 6, 2013

One Dish Dinner - Mexican Quinoa

I have quite a love affair with quinoa (pronounced "keen-wa").  It has the most protein of any grain (technically, it's a seed) and is super versatile.  It can be used for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in savory or sweet recipes.  I haven't found a bad recipe with it yet.

This one is super easy, all in one pot!  I used red quinoa because that is what I had and it looked and tasted like taco meat.  We ended up making "taco" salads with it, but it would be great in enchiladas or burritos.  I froze the leftovers, so I'll let you know how it turns out.

2 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can Rotel tomatoes, undrained
1 can corn, drained
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon lime juice

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and onion to the pan and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir in the quinoa, broth, beans, Rotel, corn and salt.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cover.  Simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the liquid is fully absorbed.  Remove from heat.  Stir in the cilantro and lime juice.  Serve as desired. 

Topping possibilities: lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, avocado, tomatoes, chips, chicken

I chose to make mine meatless.  Between the quinoa, beans, corn and cheese you have plenty of protein.

My husband made his more like a taco salad.  He topped his with Fritos and Catalina dressing - our favorite way to eat taco salad.

My children can't imagine a meal without meat.  They are dedicated carnivores, so they added chicken.

Quinoa notes and tips....
  • Always rinse quinoa before cooking or it will have a bitter taste.
  • I make a large pot at the beginning of the week and use it in all kinds of things (I'll dedicate a post to that soon.)
  • Quinoa freezes great.
  • Quinoa is gluten free and usually pesticide free.  The bitter stuff you are rinsing off serves to ward off pests.
  • My favorite quinoa blog...www.cookingquinoa.net.  In fact, I just popped over to her site to see if I had typed the address correctly and she posted a very similar recipe that you can stuff in peppers.  Funny, I didn't even go to her website for inspiration on purpose!  I modified a recipe that I found at www.annies-eats.com

Have you tried quinoa?  What's your favorite recipe?

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