Quinoa (KEEN-wah) is basically a grain (technically it’s a seed, but there’s no need to get so picky in this blog post). It comes from South America, and has risen to popularity over the past few years, meaning you can now find it in most big grocery stores. Quinoa is full of nutrients which are great additions to a vegetarian diet.
You can substitute quinoa for rice or couscous in a recipe . Generally, it is cooked in the same fashion as rice. In fact, we often use a rice cooker here to cook quinoa in the same way we cook white rice and it turns out perfectly every time.
Here is a great, protein-packed vegetarian recipe which uses quinoa. Serve this as a main dish or as a side to a meat entrée.
Quinoa and Black Beans
Fix-It and Forget-It Vegetarian Cookbook, page 130
Makes 6-8 servings
Prep. Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 2-3 hours
Ideal slow-cooker size: 4-qt.
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
¾ cup uncooked quinoa
1 ½ cups vegetable broth
1 tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup frozen corn
2 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1. Sauté onions, garlic and red bell pepper in oil in skillet until softened. Place in 4-quart slow cooker.
2. Mix quinoa into it and cover with vegetable broth.
3. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
4. Cover. Cook on low 1-2 hours until quinoa is done.
5. Stir in frozen corn, beans and cilantro into cooker and continue to cook on low 30-60 minutes until heated through.
Go-alongs: Tossed salad, red beets or red-beet eggs.