Monday, March 4, 2013

Quinoa & Black Beans

Now that life is back to normal and we’re all back home, I’m back to cooking.  We made a ham in the slow cooker this weekend, and Joe picked his favorite quinoa dish to go along with it.  This recipe was recommended to me by a friend a few months ago.  It’s delicious and super easy.  We used it as a side dish (with lots of leftovers) but it could also stand alone.  I make it without the cayenne pepper, and depending on whether or not I have cilantro on hand, I might leave that out, too…so have no fear if you have to change the recipe a bit.  If you’re afraid try quinoa, or not sure what to do with it, this is a great dish to make for a first-timer!

Quinoa and Black Beans

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn kernels OR 1 can corn
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed
and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, optional
1-2 cooked chicken breasts, diced or shredded, optional

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and sauté until lightly browned.
Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.  Fold in the chicken slowly until incorporated. Serve.

UPDATE 11/23/15
So I made a few changes this time around and I think it came out even better than before.
-I cooked the chicken breasts by boiling them in water.  Cook thoroughly.  When just about done, I poured out 1/3-1/2 of the water and replaced with chicken broth and 1 tbsp salt.  I continued to boil for 5-10 minutes.
-I put the chicken in the food processor to get it finely shredded.  Just be careful that you don't pulverize the chicken, turning it to mush.  It should be small, shredded-like pieces. I think this was much better than dicing the chicken.  The flavors all blended together better and it was delicious!
-I left out the cayenne and cilantro.
-I also used 1 can of corn instead of frozen.

Instead of cilantro another option could be to top with green onions finely chopped. I haven't tried that yet though.

Original recipe found here.

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