I did a bad thing yesterday: I tried a new recipe without taking pictures. Blasphemy! So here’s a picture of the finished product:

 winter-in-chicago-003

It combines three of my most favorite things to eat: quinoa, tomatoes, and black beans. And lime! And cumin! Eating it is reminiscent of eating guacamole, although it’s heartier and has a much better texture. We had this for our dinner  entree last night, but it would also make an incredible side dish to homemade enchiladas or fish tacos or something.

The best part is that it’s verrrrrry healthy. 14 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber will keep you full for a long time, not to mention the heart-healthy ingredients. According to epicurious, it’s got 382 calories per serving (the recipe makes four servings). I put in half the amount of butter, though (they called for 2 tablespoons), substituted olive oil for vegetable oil, and added no sugar. The only thing that your trainer at the gym would object to is the butter, but you could go with a substitute or just add an extra tablespoon of olive oil. I must say, however, that I love the extra richness the butter gives this dish – I definitely didn’t feel like I was eating health food.

Quinoa with Tomatoes and Black Beans

(adapted from epicurious)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lime
  • Some lime juice, if you have it laying around
  • 1 tablespoon butter or whatever fake butter you have
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth (I used Better Than Bullion) (of course)
  • 3/4 pint of cherry tomatoes (or 2 medium tomatoes), diced
  • 1/4 of a white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can of black beans
  • Cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper to taste

Seriously, from start to finish, this crap probably took me about 20 minutes. The longest part was dicing the tiny cherry tomatoes I had.

1. Put the quinoa and broth into a pot on the stove and bring to a rolling boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer for about 12 minutes, or until all of the broth has been absorbed by the grain.

2. Stick the butter in the microwave and melt it (or as much of it as you can – it doesn’t have to be completely melted since the quinoa will be hot when you add it). While that’s going on, zest the whole lime and then juice it into bowl you’ll be serving from. One caveat: my lime was small, and I know Lindsey doesn’t like too much citrus – so maybe only zest until you feel comfortable. I ended up adding more lime juice from a bottle because the fresh one just didn’t have that much juice in it.

3. Add the butter to the lime juice. Glurg about two tablespoons of olive oil into the mixture.

4. Dice the onion and tomatoes; add them to the lime juice mixture.

5. At this point, I’m guessing your quinoa will be done. Throw it into the bowl on top of the veggies.

6. Open your can of black beans, drain it (but don’t worry about getting every speck of liquid outta there; it has some good flavor to it), and pour on top of the quinoa.

7. Using your best judgement, add the spices. If I had to wager a guess, I’d say I put about a tablespoon of cumin, half a teaspoon of coriander, half a teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of pepper.

8. Mix it up and eat it warm, exclaiming the whole time over how freakin’ good it is and how you can’t believe you never thought of adding black beans to quinoa before. Then watch your fiance eat it and get mad at him when he sets it aside to get a glass of water instead of stuffing his face with it because it’s so good. Also, he went to Chipotle before coming home and he’s not that hungry, which is another good reason to glare accusingly at him.

A couple of notes: the recipe called for scallions instead of onions. I probably would have used them if I’d had them, because that would have been prettier, but I do like the flavor the regular onion gave to the dish. Also, this would be in-cre-he-da-ble with some chopped fresh cilantro in it.

(Also, if you didn’t click the quinoa link above, here it is again. It’s worth reading, especially to convince yourself about why quinoa is pretty much the only grain worth eating ever again. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15749697)

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