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Quinoa and Black Beans

SSCN5084I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’m not much for trying new things.  I pretty much have my old standbys, in food and everything else.  I love to experiment with those old tried and true foods, but I’m always hesitant when it comes to trying new foods.  So when a BFF brought over a bowl of quinoa a couple of weeks ago, I have to say I wasn’t lovin’ the idea of trying it out.  Two days later, out of a desire to show appreciation for my friend, I heated up the hot quinoa and black beans salad and tried it.  YUM, YUM, YUM!!!!

Quinoa is fabulous!!!!  For those of you not in the know, Quinoa is a high-protein, gluten-free grain.  It tastes a bit like wild rice, only with a more nutty flavor.  So I made up my own little Quinoa and Black Beans creation for ya’ll.

Quinoa and Black Beans

1 cup dry red organic quinoa

4 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 garlic cloves, pressed

1 – 15oz. can of Organic Black beans, rinsed and drained

1 green pepper, chopped

1 cup Homemade Pico de Gallo

1/2 t. ground cumin

1/4 t. chili powder

salt and pepper to taste

Prepare Quinoa according to package directions and set aside.  In a large fry pan, heat up the olive oil and add the garlic and green pepper, browning them just a bit.  Add cooked Quinoa and stir thoroughly.  Add  the Pico de Gallo, black beans and spices, and stir thoroughly.  Heat for 5 minutes or so, stirring often, until everything is plenty warm.  Serve and enjoy!!

The great thing about this dish is its versatility.  You can serve it on top of lettuce leaves, as we’ve done here (homegrown lettuce leaves, I might add 🙂 ), you can serve with fajitas or tacos, or even simply with tortilla chips or in a wrap. It’d also go great with a Mexican-seasoned chicken breast.  2 out of our 4 kids absolutely loved it, the other 2 could take it or leave it.  That’s pretty good odds for such a healthy dish. 😉

Photo Credit: Photo by 9-year-old daughter 🙂


  1. Kathy says:

    I do like quinoa but skip the black beans. Just can’t do them. I’m going to experiment with how long you can store quinoa so I can have it already cooked to toss on a salad.

  2. We LOVE quinoa! We also make a quinoa and black beans dish, only we put frozen corn and cilantro in ours. Soooo good!! And healthy. We have a rotating list of 3-4 different quinoa dishes we make. That’s great that your kids like it too!!

  3. Liz says:

    yumm! Looks good Laurie. I recently tried a lettuce wrap and am obsessed. So much tastier and fresher than a tortilla. Perfect for summer : ) Have a great weekend.

  4. The Stoic says:

    Quinoa and couscous are two staples in my diet. I’ve mixed quinoa with various beans and usually do a sautéed vegetable medley to along with it. I like adding a touch of ground chipotle to add spice and just a hint of smoke flavor. It’s a wonderful grain!

    • Laurie says:

      Ooh, chipotle sounds like a wonderful addition to quinoa. Glad to hear you’ve found such a great health food friend in those grains. They are new to us and we are looking to experiment with them more. Thanks for the comment. 🙂

  5. This reminds me of the quinoa chili I shared on my blog, I LOVE quinoa and I love finding awesome ways to incorporate it into mine and my family’s diet. I am definitely making this this weekend since I am also making homemade pico (at my hubby’s request) for Father’s Day. Happy Father’s Day to Rick this weekend!!! I hope you all frugally spoil him! 🙂

    • Laurie says:

      Glad to hear it! You’ll have to let me know what you think. I’ll bet a hint of fresh lime juice would compliment it well too. Happy, happy Father’s day to Mr. FB too. Frugal and fun is definitely on the menu here. 🙂

  6. Kim says:

    I am truly a backwoods idiot because I never can remember how to pronounce quinoa. Is it like keen-wah? I’ve seen it but never bought it, but I love wild rice, so I might now. One thing I have discovered in my quest to eat healthier is lentils. I’m not sure why I never at them before, but I don’t much care for beans, so this is a great substitute.

    • Laurie says:

      LOL, me neither, Kim. I have no idea. 🙂 Yes, my nearing-50 body doesn’t seem to like beans quite as much as it used to, so this is great.

    • Laurie says:

      No kidding!!! I’m the same way, Tonya – I don’t do very well in trying new things, but I’m committed to breaking the routine. 🙂

  7. I love black beans and cook them up once a week in the crock-pot along with a crock-pot of chickpeas. I’ll be honest and say I’ve tried quinoa before and I didn’t fancy it. I don’t know if it was the way it was prepared. This sounds good though.

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