We all struggle to diversify mealtime. I’m constantly wracking my brain to come up with dishes that will hold the interest of my kids, both of whom have very different palates. After becoming personally invested in what they eat, I’ve learned that sometimes, merely making tweaks to a base dish that’s already been kid-approved will be successful.
Last year was the year of Quinoa in my house. I fell in love with it and prepared every dish I could to get my kids to fall in love with it too. From quinoa salads to quinoa casseroles to quinoa bakes to even quinoa soup, there wasn’t a week that went by without this ingredient somewhere on the menu. Then, when it become overkill, I gave this seed (often called the “ancient grain”) some much-needed shelf time.
This week, as the weather started turning cooler and I was searching for some heartier side dishes, I came across a wonderful recipe from one of my favorite online hubs, Tip Hero. Most appealing was the recipe’s tag line, “when you need a healthy weeknight supper and you don’t want to dirty more than one pan.”
One pan? Just a few ingredients? Minutes later a healthy dish of Mexican Quinoa?
I was sold.
Lucky for me, I had all of the ingredients in my stocked pantry.
I always find videos extremely helpful and working alongside Tip Hero. I think I got so excited that I wasn’t focusing enough on the actual ingredient amounts. I accidentally used a large 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes so I needed to drastically increase the amount of quinoa to offset the liquidity of the dish. Next time around, I wouldn’t use any chili pepper. The dish was rendered so spicy, my kids complained their mouths were on fire.
But, this dish will definitely join our vast quinoa recipe repertoire.
Hope you enjoy:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ a large jalapeno, minced (taste before adding all of the jalapeno, depending on how spicy you want the dish to be)
- 3/4 cup quinoa
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (not drained)
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (I used ¼ tsp kosher salt- taste first before adding more)
- 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet with a lid over medium heat.
2. Sauté the garlic and jalapeno until it starts to brown, about one minute.
3. Add the quinoa, vegetable broth, black beans, diced tomatoes, corn, chili powder, cumin, ¼ tsp salt to the skillet and stir to mix well.
4. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and cover the pan with the lid.
5. Cook covered for 20 minutes, until the quinoa is cooked through, but stir it halfway through cooking just to make sure the quinoa cooks evenly.
6. Before serving, sprinkle the chopped cilantro and diced avocado on top and then squeeze ½ of the lime in as well. Taste and add more lime juice, salt and pepper if needed.