Today is Yesterday was my mom’s birthday so it’s fitting that my first post features one of her recipes (which we had for dinner last night but I found out that I can’t edit a blog post very well on my iPad and was already comfortably curled up and was too lazy to move to the desktop) …anyway, we both kind of wing this dish instead of following a measured set of instructions. Cooking’s more fun that way! This meal is great because it’s one dish, is full of protein and fiber and tastes amazing…well, if you’re a grown up. Scratch that, it would taste good to a picky first grader too if only he’d actually taste it!
It took a bit longer to make than I remembered, mainly because of the chopping and cooking the quinoa but you sauté the peppers and onion then pretty much toss everything together and leave it until the quinoa is plump and the liquid is absorbed; so it’s relatively low-maintenance. We made this for dinner one night last week but we were still all on holiday with a very relaxed pace and I wasn’t really watching time. Last night was the night before school started again and I couldn’t believe that it was about quarter to eight when we started dinner! So next time I’ll start a little earlier. Come to think of it, it also could be all the crazy photos I was taking while I was cooking, which made the whole process take much longer.
Once the peppers and onions and garlic are softened, add the quinoa and chicken stock (or water if you prefer) and let it simmer until the water/stock is absorbed. Add the black beans (you can also add them earlier…whenever you think of it!) When it’s close to done but there’s still some liquid left in the pan, stir in the chopped cilantro. Serve hot, with (optional) grated cheese and a blob of plain yogurt or sour cream if you’re feeling decadent. It doesn’t really need it though.
So what did Evan have for dinner? Cheese quesadilla. Oh well.
If I’d been thinking, I’d have cooked some quinoa separately for him and offered him that plus the sautéed veggies on the side. But I forgot.
Southwest Style Quinoa and Black Beans (variation on beans and rice)
2 bell peppers, any colour
1 medium onion
1 clove garlic, chopped or minced
2 cups chopped cilantro
1 cup quinoa (white or red)
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
2 cups chicken stock or water
Dice the peppers and onions and sauté on medium-high in butter or olive oil until just soft. About 5-6 minutes. Add uncooked quinoa and chicken stock and stir to combine. Lower temp to simmer, cover and leave it, stirring occasionally. When most of the liquid is absorbed stir in the chopped cilantro and black beans (if you haven’t already) and leave for another 5 minutes or so, until the rest of the liquid has been absorbed. You can speed it up by raising the burner temp and removing the lid but you’ll need to hang out by the stove, stirring every few minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn. You really can use any veggies you have on hand (carrot, frozen corn – thanks for the idea mom!). You can also add cooked quinoa (or rice) at the end (this is a good use of leftover rice or quinoa that’s already in the fridge) instead, but I like the flavor depth you get from cooking it all together.