A couple years ago, I started hearing all about quinoa and how healthy and fabulous it was. Since I love healthy and fabulous stuff, I picked some up at the grocery store and searched the interwebs for an easy recipe to start off with. During my Googling, I learned that it’s actually pronounced like “keen-wah” and not “kin-oh-uh” as I had been saying. Oops! Anywho, I came across a recipe for Quinoa and Black Beans that looked pretty yummy and had a ton of great reviews. It was a hit! I loved it, my husband loved, and we kept making it. After two or three years of adding, tweaking, and taste-testing, the recipe has evolved into my Southwest Quinoa. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the price of this recipe — quinoa can run about $5 or $6/pound, but a little bit goes a long way. Since the rest of the ingredients are inexpensive, it’s still a thrifty meal!
Ingredients: (Can you guys tell I shop at Aldi a lot?)
1 medium onion, chopped
3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 sweet pepper, chopped (Any color works, but I used yellow because it’s pretty)
1 15-ounce can diced tomato
3/4 c. quinoa, rinsed (I used tri-color because it’s pretty, but any quinoa will do — mine’s from Trader Joe’s but most grocery stores carry it)
1 c. low-sodium vegetable broth (sometimes I just use water)
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder (or more if you like it spicy!)
salt and pepper to taste (I usually leave out the salt, there’s already some in the broth)
1 c. frozen corn
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 c. fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
2 limes, juiced (plus more for serving)
Chop your sweet pepper and onion. Mince the garlic. Usually I use my beloved garlic press, but I forgot to bring it to school so I had to mince my own garlic. Sigh.
Spray a sauce pan with cooking spray and heat to medium. I don’t really use cooking oil, but if you prefer you can use 1 tbsp. of oil in place of the spray.
While your pan is heating up, rinse 3/4 cup of quinoa in a colander or wire strainer. Make sure the holes are super small or the quinoa will rinse right through. Set the quinoa aside for now.
When the sauce pan is heated, add the onion and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add in the garlic and saute for an additional minute.
Stir in the chopped sweet pepper, and cook until the onions are translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the rinsed quinoa, 1 cup of vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, 1 tsp. cumin, and 1/2 tsp. chili powder. Feel free to add more chili powder or a dash of cayenne if you’re a fan of spicy food!
Bring the pot to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook covered for 20 minutes or until the quinoa is done (it will have absorbed all of the liquid and you’ll be able to see its little white tails).
Stir in 1 cup of frozen corn, and cook on low until defrosted (about 5 minutes). Add the black beans and juice from 2 limes and mix thoroughly. Gently stir in 1/2 cup of roughly chopped cilantro. Garnish with limes or avocado, or just eat it straight out of the pan. Not I’ve ever done that…
Guys, this Southwest Quinoa is delicious, vegan, super healthy, high in protein, and could easily be used to fill burritos (mmm… burritos). My fave part is that it tastes great hot for dinner or cold in my lunch box the next morning. Yum!!
On the topic of lunch boxes… this bad boy was my about-to-start-grad-school present to myself:
I’m obsessed and had to share!
What do you think? Will you be trying the recipe? Do you use a lunch box? Are there too many questions at the end of this post?
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 sweet pepper, chopped (any color)
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomato
- ¾ c. quinoa, rinsed
- 1 c. low-sodium vegetable broth or water
- 1 tsp. cumin
- ½ tsp. chili powder (or more to taste)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 c. frozen corn
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ c. fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 2 limes, juiced (plus more for serving)
- Spray a sauce pan with cooking spray (or use 1 tbsp. oil) and heat to medium.
- Add chopped onions, saute for one minute. Add garlic, saute for one minute. Add pepper and saute until onions are translucent.
- Pour in vegetable broth, quinoa, diced tomatoes, and spices. Stir and bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, simmer for 20 minutes or until quinoa is cooked.
- Stir in frozen corn and cook until thawed (about 5 minutes).
- Add black beans and lime juice. Stir. Add cilantro.
- Serve and enjoy! Garnish with lime slices, cilantro, or avocado.