Vegetarian Quinoa with Black Beans
Vegetarian Quinoa with Black Beans

Vegetarian Quinoa with Black BeansI’ve hopped on the health train this month along with what seems like every mom I know. I’ve decided to go pescetarian for January, which mean no beef, pork, or poultry products. For me, it’s a temporary measure to see if I can do it, mostly because I like challenges and didn’t want to spend my time training for another marathon! I like to eat, but I hate to run.

One area that I’m working on is including more whole grains into daily meals, but of course, keeping them flavorful so the kids will still dig in. As long as you give quinoa (keen-wa) a good rinse in cold water before you cook it to remove the bitter coating (don’t believe the package that indicates the quinoa is pre-rinsed), it should be fairly neutral in flavor. It’s more of a delivery device for the flavors your choose to add. This recipe is a great side dish with a roasted chicken and is super easy to make.


Skillet Quinoa with Black Beans, Cilantro and Feta

Yield: 6 servings
Serving size: 1 cup

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup onions, diced
2 cups red bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups water or vegetable stock
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed, uncooked
1 can (15 ounces) reduced sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/3 cup crumbled, reduced-fat feta cheese* (can also substitute goat cheese)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt

In large, non-stick skillet, heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and pepper. Sauté 5 minutes or until onions begin to brown on edges, stirring occasionally. Add water or stock and quinoa. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat, cover and cook on medium-low for 12 minutes or until water is absorbed.

Remove from heat, stir in beans, walnuts, chili powder, feta (or goat cheese), cilantro, garlic and salt. Cover and let stand 5 minutes to heat through and absorb flavors.

Hint: Feel free to use whatever color quinoa is available, and don’t forget to check out your store’s bulk section to save some cash over the pre-packaged variety.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 230 calories; 8 g total fat (1.5 g saturated fat); 10 mg cholesterol; 31 g carbohydrates; 7 g fiber; 3 g sugars; 10 g protein; 360 mg sodium; 445 mg potassium