Mexican Quinoa

by ashleyd on February 14, 2012

Every Sunday, as I read other blogs, I am inspired to cook. I know that I’ll enjoy and benefit from having a few staples prepared in the refrigerator, but most Sundays, I never make my way into the kitchen.

Yesterday, feeling surprisingly energetic after an epic birthday party the night before, Bo and I found ourselves organizing the house from top to bottom. This was serious stuff folks. I was under the bed fighting dust bunnies and Bo was trying to organize our pantry for the hundredth time. By 4pm we had tackled the house and were actually able to sit back and relax for a bit. Then Bo mentioned the pile.

“Ashley, I’ve made a pile of all the things in the pantry I doubt you’ll ever use or duplicates. Can you go through it and throw what you don’t want out? “

I groaned and walked over, amazed at what he considered to be trash. While I salvaged some things, I did end up parting ways with a few age old tea bags and expired products. But then I saw my afternoon inspiration: three bags of quinoa. How we accumulated such a collection I’ll never know. Maybe I read this post ages ago and felt inspired to buy it? Or, maybe it was on sale at Whole Foods one week and knowing it was a protein and fiber rich grain powerhouse, I was enticed to buy it.

The important thing is that the lonely boxes inspired me to create my own recipe. I opened up our fridge to see what I could use and decided that a Mexican quinoa would be the perfect way to spice up my weekday lunches. After all, my friends at Choose Cherries gave me this adorable lunch box that was just screaming to be used.

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So, without further adieu, I give you my Mexican quinoa recipe. I enjoyed it today atop a bed of baby spinach for lunch and the flavors amazed me. This is definitely one of those dishes that gets better the next day and can last all week. Bulked up with vegetables and protein, this recipe makes four very hearty servings that are filled with healthy nutrients, vitamins, and no artificial additives. Even the dressing I used, a Whole Foods staple of ours, is all natural!

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Mexican Quinoa

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 15.5 oz black beans, rinsed
  • 1. 15.5 can corn, drained
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup Cindy’s Kitchen All Natural Tangerine Vinaigrette (available at Whole Foods)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp cumin
  • Dash of salt & pepper
  • Optional: diced avocado and/or chopped cilantro

Instructions

Rinse 1 cup quinoa with water.

Combine quinoa with 1 1/2 cups water in saucepan.

Bring to a rapid boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 10 to 15 minutes until all water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Make sure that quinoa doesn’t burn by stirring once or twice during the simmering process.

Remove quinoa from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

Pour quinoa into a large bowl.

Add beans, corn, and peppers.

Stir together.

In a separate bowl, whisk dressing, spices, salt, pepper, and oil together.

Pour over quinoa and vegetable mixture.

Stir until thoroughly combined, ensuring that even the bottom quinoa is coated.

Serve chilled and garnish with optional avocado or cilantro.

{ 6 comments }

Kelly Franks February 14, 2012 at 3:43 am

That sounds really good! I also have some extra quinoa to use as well! Loved your post on Friday about when you work out and what you do.

Ashley D February 15, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Thanks Kelly! I’m glad you liked it. I plan on doing them each Friday!

Meg @ Spandex in the City February 14, 2012 at 3:15 pm

CUTE lunch bag, I have the same one. Love how it stretches to fit a bunch of things !

Ashley D February 15, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Meg I’m obsessed with bringing my lunch now that i have this bag! It fits so much!

Dana February 14, 2012 at 11:29 pm

Mmmm that looks so good! I love making a big batch of a grain salad on Sunday to have for easy meals during the week. Makes it so much easier to avoid the cafeteria at lunch and delivery or Whole Foods salad bar for dinner!

Ashley D February 15, 2012 at 1:44 pm

I hope you enjoy this recipe as its now a keeper in my book!

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