Tales from the Hill's Country

Quips, stories and observations from our adventures in marriage and parenting (as told by Katie).

Monday, May 2, 2011

Quinoa Tutorial

My friend, Amy, hosts a great blog about nutrition. Of course I enjoy her friendship and her blog... but it's a little intimidating inviting a nutritionist over for dinner. Which is why, when I had Amy over for Seder Dinner, I opted to serve a side dish that she blogged about: Quinoa.  (Click on the link to learn what exactly the stuff is and why it's so good for you...)

Quinoa can appear to be confusing, so I thought I'd spell out how easy this stuff is to make! In fact, the hardest part was finding it at the store. After asking, I was directed to the rice aisle... and that's where it was! By the way, it's pronounced "Keen-wah". But when I asked the grocery store employee where to find, "keen-wah" she looked at me like I had two heads. I started to spell it for her and she gave me a very knowing look, "oh, did you mean Quin-Oh-Ah?". I decided not to whip out my iPhone and make her read Amy's blog...

Anyway, once you find the Quinoa, you'll need to gather a few more items:
There are many ways to prepare, Quinoa, but this is the recipe that I liked (I made a few changes, though).

Chop the onion, red pepper and jalapeno:
(You'll notice I did  not remove the jalapeno seeds.)

Saute them in a  saucepan until they are soft (about 5 minutes):
Stir in a cup of Quinoa, 2 teaspoons of cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon of cumin and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
Add 1.5 cups of water, let bring to a boil:
once it's boiling, cover, reduce heat and let simmer for about 14 minutes.

Add a can of black beans, a can of whole kernel corn (both rinsed and drained):
and a half cup of chopped cilantro:
Bonus points if the cilantro comes from your garden.

Heat until all of the ingredients are warm (about 3 minutes).
At this point, the dish should look really nice:
Once it's heated up, dish it out! Add some cilantro on top and (if you're feeling daring) some feta cheese:
This has enough protein to be served just like this, but you can also use it as a side dish:
Or, as I realized this weekend, you can also serve it cold as a dip!
I have a feeling Quinoa is about to become an old faithful at the Hill House!

Here's the recipe in a cleaner version:

1 white onion
1 red pepper
1 jalapeno
1 cup Quinoa
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1.5 cups water
1 can black beans
1 can whole kernel corn
1 bunch of cilantro
feta cheese (if you're feeling daring)
Avocado chunks? (Just thought of that... might be nice?)

Saute the chopped onions, red peppers and jalapeno until they are softened (about 4 minutes). Stir in the Quinoa, cayenne pepper, cumin and salt. Add water and bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat. Let simmer for 14 minutes. Add in the rinsed and drained black beans, whole kernel corn and 1/2 cup chopped cilantro. Once that's all heated (about 3 minutes) serve up! Sprinkle cilantro and (perhaps) feta cheese. And next time I make this, I'm adding chunks of avocado on the theory that it might be a nice addition!

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