Thursday, February 3, 2011

Quinoa Black Bean Salad

My friend, who is a fellow health nut ;), made this recipe for my family the other night. We started a little 2-family dinner co-op. She brings us dinner on Tuesday, and I bring them dinner on Thursday.  It's only been one week and we are both LOVING it so far! I recommend the dinner swap thing--if you can find someone that cooks the same style as you, that is. This recipe was SO delicious! 
1 cup quinoa 
1 ½ cups water or chicken/veggie broth
½ tsp salt
1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
½ cup chopped celery
1-2 jalapeños (seeded and finely chopped)
1 clove garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder
1 red pepper sliced thin or diced
1 green pepper sliced thin or diced
1 large tomato (cut into bite size pieces)
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder

2TBLS lime juice
1/4 cup light virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper or chili powder

Soak the quinoa in water for an hour. ** Rinse several times and drain well.  (See note below) Bring water (or broth) and salt to a boil then add quinoa.  Cover and let cook 15 minutes (or until moisture is absorbed).  Remove quinoa from heat and let sit for 5 minutes, fluff with a fork and set aside. 
Sauté jalapeno, garlic and celery in 2 TBLS olive oil until slightly brown.  Add green and red peppers and continue to sauté briefly then add cumin and coriander.  Cook for 5 minutes. 
Combine dressing ingredients and whisk together well.  Add dressing, quinoa, beans and tomatoes to the sautéed ingredients.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until heated through. 

This delicious and healthy filling is good plain or as a wrap in a pita or as a taco in a tortilla with avocados, sliced olives, cheese, green onions and other mexican toppings!  Some put salsa on top too.

**This is what the recipe said about soaking quinoa.  I've never heard that before, but I'll look into it.  In the mean time, here's the reason to soak quinoa if you want to do it!

Quinoa is a seed packed with protein (among lots of other good stuff), but is similar to a grain due to its cooking characteristics.  Before cooking, the seeds should be soaked and rinsed to remove their bitter resin-like coating, which is called saponin. Quinoa is rinsed before it is packaged and sold, but it is best to rinse again at home before use to remove any of the powdery residue that may remain on the seeds. The presence of saponin is obvious by the production of a soapy looking "suds" when the seeds are swished in water. Placing quinoa in a strainer and rinsing thoroughly with water easily washes the saponin from the seeds.

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