Saturday, September 13, 2008

Quinoa with Black Beans and Cilantro

Quinoa is one of those foods that used to seem sort of strange and exotic to me until I started hearing about it fairly often. I realized, while doing my Hundreds, that I'd still never tried it. I was also trying to think of another meal when I was planning this past week when this recipe popped up in Liz's Cooking Blog. It was fate!

This is spicy. When I had my first bite, I thought I had surely mixed something up and put too much chili powder in, but I didn't. So a word to those without iron tongues, you might want to reduce the chili powder. Although the recipe states that the cheese is optional, if you use all of the chili powder, you will really want the creaminess of the cheese to ameliorate the burning.

Quinoa was a hit in our house. I think that Joe was initially skeptical that it might be hippy-dippy food, and it didn't help that I had to go to several grocery stores to find it, but he really liked it as well.

Quinoa with Black Beans and Cilantro
(source: Bon Appetit)

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chopped white onions (I used red onions.)
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed, drained
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • Crumbled Cotija cheese or feta cheese (optional)

Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and red pepper; sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in next 4 ingredients. Add water; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until quinoa is almost tender, about 14 minutes. Add beans and 1/4 cup cilantro; cook uncovered until heated through and liquid is fully absorbed, about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cilantro and cheese, if desired.