Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I tried a new recipe last night that my friend Denise had passed on to me. It uses quinoa, which is a somewhat tricky food to describe.
It seems sort of like a grain, but from what I've read it's actually a relative to some leafy greens such as spinach and Swiss chard. This link gives lots of interesting information about quinoa (which, in case you are wondering, can apparently be pronounced either of these two ways -[keen-wah, kee-noh-uh]) which I found found very informative and interesting.

Anyway, I'm personally not a big fan of other grains...don't love rice, don't like oatmeal or Grape Nuts get the idea. However, I cooked up this quinoa last night (cooking it is very similar to cooking rice) using my friend's recipe (which called for the quinoa to be boiled in beef broth) and I loved it! It was a bit too spicy for my family, and Todd just couldn't decide whether he liked it or not. In fact, he kept commenting long after dinner was over how weird it was that he couldn't decide whether he really liked it or thought it was disgusting. Bizarre. I'm convinced his taste buds are just out of whack from repeat scaldings from the Frank's Red Hot and Tobasco sauce he puts on everything. Just saying. (Which he didn't put on the quinoa...maybe that was the problem!)

The recipe I used last night included cumin and red pepper, both which made it pretty spicy and cilantro, which most people either love or hate. It also got black beans and corn in it. Like I said, it wasn't necessarily a huge hit with my family, but it wasn't so much because of the actual quinoa, so I think (since it's such a great food health-wise) that I'll keep looking for some more interesting recipes using it. If you have any, I'd be really interested in them! Since hubby and I aren't eating meat right now, I served it with some bruschetta that I quick made up.

The quinoa itself isn't super cheap, I think I paid about $3.99 for a box of it in the organic foods section at Giant. However, I only used 3/4 of a cup, and it made quite enough to serve my family (as a side dish, not the main). Apparently if you don't buy it pre-washed, you do have to rinse it. I just made sure my box said "pre-washed" so I didn't have to do anything special other than follow my recipe. I also got the red kind instead of the white...simply my preference for visual appeal. Here's the recipe that I used. If you try it, let me know what you think!

Quinoa and Black Beans
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
¾ cup uncooked quinoa
1 ½ cups vegetable broth ( I use beef broth )
1 tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
2. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with broth. Season with the cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
3. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.
Serves 10
Calories 152
Fat 1.7 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 523 mg
Total carbs 27.6 g
Dietary fiber 7.7g
Protein 7.7 g

1 comment:

Bets said...

Good for you for trying something new! Can't say it looks like something I'd like, but kudos to you! :o)