I do!! This nutty grain is from South America and according to Quinoa.net, it is an ancient grain from the Andes that was a staple food of the Inca Civilization. It is a complete protein packed with all kinds of goodness. My husband had never tried it before and was ready and willing to give his taste buds a challenge. Since we both enjoy southwest foods, salsas and tex-mex, I prepared this dish southwest style.
Southwest Quinoa Ingredients
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper (more if you like it extra spicy)
- 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
- 2 roma tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 sweet red pepper, diced
- 2 cups cooked or canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup corn kernels
If purchased in bulk, rinse and drain the quinoa and set aside. Drizzle olive oil into a large deep sauce pan and add the garlic, onion and paprika. Stir until fragrant. Add 2 cups of water then the quinoa, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and your desired amount of cayenne. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes until the quinoa has absorbed the liquid.
Add the tomatoes, red pepper, beans and corn and heat through. Serve immediately.
I served mine with Stuffed Sole from Omaha Steaks and with some garlic bread made from roasted garlic, butter and parsley. We have ordered from Omaha Steaks quite often and really love the stuffed sole. The sole is shipped frozen and is easy to pop in the oven for a delicious gourmet style meal without all the gourmet preparation and don’t we all love that on busy weeknights!! If you’re feeling like steak is the perfect main dish for your quinoa, try the Bacon-Wrapped Filets instead of sole. Now, you can easily add variations to the quinoa by adding chicken, shrimp or you can keep it vegetarian by adding tofu. The combinations of sweet and spicy (without being hot) flavors and the various textures of the beans and tomatoes, give it a complex but pleasing side dish that can go with just about anything.
Leave me a comment below letting me know what you would pair your quinoa with. I love to hear from my readers!
If you are looking for that perfect side dish, check out the selections on my Veggies and Sides board on Pinterest.
Follow Lori’s Culinary’s board Veggies & Sides on Pinterest.