Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

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Quinoa is not only nutrient-rich, but is so easy to make. It is considered to be a “complete protein,” because of the amounts of amino acids, lysine and isoleucine, it contains. This salad has a wonderful smokey flavor from the chipotle, which also gives the dish some “heat.” In addition, you can taste the green and red onions and the cilantro! The quinoa recipe was adapted from Ken Oringer in Food and Wine, From a Chef’s Incredible Winter Picnic, published December 2009. I substituted the sherry vinegar with rice vinegar and reduced the amount of olive oil.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15 ounce) organic black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup organic quinoa, rinsed thoroughly and drained
  • Sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 chipotle in adobo, minced
  • ¼ cup organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced using only the white and light green parts
  • ½ small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Using a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups water, quinoa and pinch of salt . Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until water is absorbed. Set aside and “fluff,” until cool.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice and chipotle. Add olive oil in a thin stream, while whisking. Mix in beans, quinoa, green onions, red onion, yellow pepper and cilantro. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste. Serves 8.

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Cilantro Brown Basmati Rice

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My daughter and I both love brown rice and it is so much healthier for you than white rice. Unfortunately, my husband prefers only white rice. I wanted a delicious and healthy grain side dish that would go with chicken, beef or fish, so I decided to add some flavor to it and maybe he would find it more appealing. This was done by adding cilantro, garlic, lime juice and olive oil to the brown rice. Success! He loved it!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic brown basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan, rinse rice 2 to 3 times. Add water, oil, garlic, salt and lime juice. Stir well. Uncovered, bring rice to a boil over medium heat. Stir thoroughly. Cover rice and simmer for about 35 minutes until water is gone.
  2. Transfer to a medium bowl and fluff rice. Add cilantro and freshly ground pepper. Mix well and serve. Makes 4 servings.

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Organic Quinoa with Edamame and Shiitake Mushrooms

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I never had quinoa until my daughter bought it over a year ago. Now, I am frequently cooking and searching for quinoa recipes. My inspiration for this delicious and healthy dish came from Cook’s Illustrated, “Quinoa Pilaf with Shiitakes, Edamame, and Ginger,” published January/February 2014. It has a wonderful nutty taste with a hint of ginger. I made several modifications to the original recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoon organic sunflower oil
  • 3 scallions, white parts minced, green parts sliced thin on the diagonal
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems remove and thinly sliced
  • 1½ freshly grated ginger
  • Sea salt
  • 1½ cup water or organic chicken broth
  • ½ cup cooked shelled organic edamame
  • 2 teaspoon rice vinegar

Directions:

  1. Stirring frequently, toast the quinoa in a medium saucepan over medium heat, until quinoa is fragrant and makes popping noise, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer quinoa to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in the now empty pan over medium heat. Add scallions whites, shiitakes and ginger. Stirring often, cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Increase heat to medium-high, add liquid and quinoa. Stir well. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 18 to 20 minutes, stirring once half-way, until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, add edamame and salt to taste. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and stir in vinegar and scallion greens.

Blogger’s note: I had some leftover chicken stock that I didn’t want to waste, so I used a combination of stock and water.

http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipes/7684-quinoa-pilaf-with-shiitakes-edamame-and-ginger?incode=MCSCZ00L0

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Organic Quinoa Pilaf with Cranberries and Almonds

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Cranberries add a sweetness to this gluten-free quinoa dish, which is good for vegans and vegetarians! I modified slightly this simple and healthy recipe from Whole Foods!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup uncooked organic quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups organic chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup organic dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Directions:

  1. In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and stir often until soft for 2 to 3 minutes. Stirring constantly, add the quinoa and “toast” for 1 minute. Pour in broth and add salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes with pot covered.
  3. Finally, add cranberries, cover and cook for another 10 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed. Toss in almonds and serve. Serves 6.

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/print/recipe/quinoa-pilaf-cranberries-and-almonds?css=recipe_with_image

Cilantro Rice

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This reminds me of the rice you can get at Chipotle! Next time, I am going to make it with healthy brown rice!

  • 1 cup organic white basmati rice
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper

In a small saucepan, rinse rice 2 to 3 times. Add water, oil, garlic, salt and lime juice. Stir well. Uncovered, bring rice to a boil over medium heat. Stir well. Cover rice and simmer for about 20 minutes until water is gone.

Transfer to a medium bowl and fluff rice. Add cilantro and freshly ground pepper. Mix well and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Black Bean Quinoa Salad

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This quinoa salad has a wonderful Mexican flavor with the black beans, lime juice, cumin, cilantro, onion and red bell pepper! It can be used as a side dish or can even be a light meal all by itself, because it good source of protein. As a bonus, it’s quick and easy to make!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup organic quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • Sea salt
  • 1 t cumin
  • 2 T fresh lime juice
  • 5 T canola oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 can Trader Joe’s Organic Black Beans (rinsed)
  • 1 small finely chopped organic red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 3 T finely chopped red onion

Directions:

  1. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly. Combine the quinoa, water and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer at low heat until water is absorbed. Uncover and let the quinoa cool.
  2. Whisk cumin, lime juice and oil together in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. In a large bowl, add dressing to black beans, bell pepper, cilantro and onion. Add the quinoa. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if necessary. Serves 4.