Quinoa with black beans, corn and cilantro ~

I've been a fan of Southwestern flavors forever!  Cumin, cilantro, black beans are some of my favorite ingredients.  But, I haven't done much with quinoa.  Oh I know, everyone jumped on the bandwagon long ago, touting it's a healthier alternative to rice.  But, I cooked it once a long time ago and it really didn't make me swoon, not the way that rice or pasta does.  

Anyway, I was visiting a friend recently and this is what she wanted to make for dinner.  We've both been looking for healthy, meatless dinners and she chose this one from All Recipes.  Well between us we made it, but I found the directions a little confusing and cooked the quinoa on it's own and when I reread the directions, it alluded  to cooking it all in the same pan.  Her dish came out wonderful and so I brought the recipe home to tinker with it a bit.  I adapted it, to give it more of a kick with red pepper, extra cayenne and cumin.  I also adjusted it to add quantities that I had on hand.  So instead of 2 cups of corn, I added a one pound bag.  I mean really, it's only an extra 1/2 of a cup.

My note:  The first batch I made, I cooked the quinoa seperately and drained about half of the liquid off after the 20 minutes it says to cook it.  Then I added it to the sauteed vegetables.  The second batch, I cooked it as the directions say below.   Cooking the quinoa separately yielded a drier, fluffier grain, which I actually preferred.  But it's  up to yourself.  Both tasted great and reheated well.

This is an easy weeknight dinner that is healthy and delicious!

Here is a link to the original recipe:

Here's my adapted recipe, which I doubled from the original.

2 chopped onions, roughly
1 chopped red bell pepper
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1&1/2 cups of uncooked quinoa
3 cups of chicken broth
1 Tablespoon of ground cumin
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground, black pepper
1 lb. package of frozen corn, thawed
1 medium bunch of cilantro, chopped

  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
  2. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
  3. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.


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