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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Black Bean and Cumin Quinoa


I love beans.

And I'm actually not bad at cooking quinoa.  The trick is to treat it like rice, and use a flavoured stock.  Don't just cook your grains in water.  Use a nice vegetable stock or something.  Trust me.

Many people consider quinoa a protein.  While it does have some protein in it, I don't think of it as anything other than a grain... the protein quotient is not THAT high, after all...

So, I like to add beans to my vegan quinoa.

That's a protein source I can behind!



Anyway... It can be surprisingly easy to make up a quinoa bowl, and equally surprising how delicious they can be.

The quinoa is simple.

2:1 ratio of liquid to dry quinoa.
Mix together.
Bring to a boil.
Cover, lower temperature, and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed.

Fluff with a fork or something if you like, when done, and then cover again, and this cooked quinoa can sit for a while and stay warm.

The beans take a bit longer, especially if you use 'dry' beans like I do.  Canned beans take a little less time, but I don't like many canned products...

If using dried beans, rinse them in cold water until clear, and then soak them overnight in clean water.  Then rinse them again, and bring them to a boil with more clean water.

Boil them for a long time.

It's really hard to OVERCOOK beans like this.  So, I usually cook them for at least an hour.

Black beans are terrible for leeching their pigment, I find.  Don't be grossed out, that's just beans and clean water.

Anyway, while that's happening, get working on the flavour town.

The hardest part of this will be the 'sauce'.  Really it's not a sauce, but it's a mixture of intense flavours, including several vegetables and spices.

Most notably—for this particular dish, anyway—onion and cumin.

I love cumin in these types of dishes.  It's packs a lot of deliciousness.

Toast the cumin in a little bit of avocado oil, for a few minutes, until they start to brown a bit.

Then add the onion.

Stir it altogether, but then leave it to simmer for about ten minutes or so.

Add some dried oregano.

And some freshly chopped garlic.

Add a splash of liquid (water works fine here) and then cover with a lid and steam for a minute or two.

After that, take it off the heat, and carefully scrape everything out of the pan into a blender.



Chop up some green onion.  Mince it really... the finer the better.

Zest some lime too.  This shit is great.

Add everything BACK into the pan, including the quinoa and the recently blended veggie puree.


Now add the beans.

That simple.


Mmmm... this is delicious stuff.  You can serve it up in a bowl by itself, I promise you won't even need any toppings.

But... if you want a bit of extra zing to it, you can add it to a wrap.

I made a wrap with a homemade, vegan, roasted red pepper, chili, lime and avocado spread.


Here's how.

Roast the red peppers.

Peel the roasted peppers, and discard the skin.

Add to a blender, along with a tomato, a chili, and some lime zest.

Slice up an avocado.

Peel and de-pit.

Add to blender with other stuff, and puree everything together.

Zingy, zangy, tingly and tangy, this stuff is flavour-packed.  I didn't even need to add any salt.


I then spread it on a wrap.

And then used it to wrap up the quinoa and black beans.


You can even dip it in some hot sauce or something if you want, but it's actually really delicious on its own.

And a pretty good balance of nutrients.
Also, it's entirely vegan.