Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Are You Keen For Quinoa?

Hard to pronounce (it's keen-wa), this pseudo-cereal is not, as many believe, a grain. In fact, it is a crop grown mostly for its edible seeds. It is more related to beets, spinach and tumbleweeds than to a typical grass family grain.Quinoa is a highly nutritious, complete protein source, due to its balanced amino acids. It's high in dietary fiber and magnesium and is gluten free.

I'll admit that I was pretty unfamiliar with quinoa before I started my Meatless Monday quest back in November. Since then, I have been reading about it and have seen quite a few delicious recipes around the internet. When we talked about what to have for Meatless Monday dinner, Cyn suggested quinoa. She dove into her vast collection of cookbooks and found a recipe from one of our favorites, Mark Bittman's, The Food That Matters. Here is his recipe for Spicy Chipotle Quinoa with Corn and Black Beans. As always, Cyn put her personal touches on the dish. I'll note them in italics. The rest is from Mr. Bittman.

3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried
1/4 cup quinoa rinsed and drained
salt and black pepper
2 (or more) canned chipotle chilies, minced, with some of their adobe sauce
1 cup cooked or canned black beans drained
1/2 cup corn kernels, frozen is OK
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock, beer or water
lime wedges

  • Put the oil in a large skillet over medium heat
  • When hot, add onion and garlic, cooking until onion is soft (about 5 mins)
  •  Add the chipotles and some of the adobo (this is pretty hot stuff, so use it carefully) and the oregano continuing to stir for about 1 minute
  • Increase heat to medium high, add the quinoa and the salt and pepper. Continue to cook stirring frequently, for 3-5 minutes
  • Add the beans, corn and stock and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Cover and lower the heat to low. Cook undisturbed for 15 minutes.
  • Uncover and test the quinoa for doneness. If still crunchy, make sure there is enough liquid to keep the bottom of the pan moist, recover and cook until tender. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with lime wedges.
  • Cynthia added the following to the plates dish - sliced green onion, sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream and a bit more of the adobo sauce since we like the heat.
We loved the combination of hot and spicy and cool and refreshing. The quinoa was a revelation to me and I can assure you we will have it again soon.


  1. I love quinoa in any form..and wish more people knew about it.

    This is an excellent and easy recipe..


  2. Thanks! I appreciate your feedback and agree that if more people knew how good quinoa it would be very popular.

  3. Sounds so easy to make, and it must taste delicious too. Love the smokiness and spiciness from chipotle chili!

  4. Fabulous!! Been looking for a new, spicy quinoa recipe.... And my favorite white beans too, jackpot and bookmarked!

    1. Thanks! Glad you found what you were looking for. Let me know how it turns out when you make it.

      Thanks again for reading and for your comment.


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