Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Southwestern Quinoa

This post is going to be a bit short, but I spent most of last week sick and take boards tomorrow (the giant test over ALL of nursing, no biggie!), which adds up to a decided lack of cooking on my end this last week. So I thought I'd follow up my last post with another quinoa recipe- this time, with a Southwestern twist to it. Over the last few years that I've been using quinoa, this has tended to be the recipe I use most, since it requires a little less cooking time and I've run into fewer people who dislike these flavors than the Greek flavor or eggplant texture (crazy, I know, but they're out there!). If you want to add a little extra protein, a grilled chicken breast that was marinated in a chili-lime sauce was a welcome addition for the carnivore in my life.
The one thing that made a very big difference in this recipe was adding fresh cilantro. It's not something I always have on hand, so it's often forgotten by the time I get this made. I came across a Gourmet Garden tube of cilantro when I was in the grocery store getting ingredients and decided to give it a shot- absolutely worth the money. Fresh spices always make a huge difference in how a dish tastes, and the tube varieties make it much easier to store them without the risk of wilting before you get it all used.

Southwestern Quinoa
Serves 4-6

2 cups quinoa, rinsed
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can corn, rinsed (can also use fresh or frozen)
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
4 tomatoes, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Cilantro, salt, pepper, & paprika, to taste
1 Tbs each, lemon and lime juice
1 avocado, diced
Non-fat Greek yogurt and shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish

1. Rinse and add quinoa to 4 cups boiling water. Stir, cover and simmer on med-high until liquid is absorbed. Set aside to cool.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combing the black beans, corn, vegetables and garlic.
3. Add lemon and lime juice, season the mixture to taste.
4. Spoon quinoa into a bowl or onto a plate and cover with vegetable mixture.
5. Top with diced avocado, Greek yogurt and cheese, if desired, and enjoy!

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