Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Southwest Quinoa and Black Beans

Since Dan was home today I needed to whip something together for lunch. If I had been home alone I would have made a salad or quick soup in the Vitamix. Somehow that doesn’t seem to me to be an adequate meal for my hubby. When I want something quick that has a nice amount of protein I frequently turn to quinoa. This is what we had for lunch today with a little leftover for Dan’s lunch tomorrow:

Southwest Quinoa and Black Beans
Serves 3


1 red onion, peeled and finely minced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
¼ cup water to sauté aromatics
1 chipotle in adobo, finely minced (2 if you like heat)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon oregano, dried
1 teaspoon paprika
(chili powder, to taste, see note in comments section)
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 cup black beans, cooked without salt
1 lemon, zested and juiced (or lime if you have one)
8 cups raw baby spinach, julienned
6 olives, pitted and slivered
3 tablespoons macadamia and pumpkin seed cheese
3 sun dried Roma tomato halves, julienned (not the ones in oil)


Water sauté the onions and garlic until tender. Add to the pan the ingredient through beans and cook until the quinoa is tender (about 15 minutes). If you don’t want the quinoa to take on color from the beans you can add them after the quinoa is cooked. Taste for seasoning. You may want to add a little more heat (wet hots) or spice to taste.

To serve, top the raw spinach with quinoa (or stir it into the quinoa if you prefer it to wilt more). Top the quinoa with lemon zest, lemon juice, olives, nut cheese and tomatoes. This dish is good hot or cold.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 405.58
Calories From Fat (22%) - 88.54

Total Fat - 10.31g
Saturated Fat - 1.5g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 224.98mg
Potassium - 1276.57mg
Total Carbohydrates - 64.91g
Fiber - 13.96g
Sugar - 3.22g
Protein - 18.02g


This turned out a little milder than I had anticipated. Next time I will use two chipotles and maybe a teaspoon of chili powder. But overall the flavor was good and the nutritional stats were nice for a one dish meal in less than 20 minutes. Fresh cilantro, corn and jalapeno would also be good in here if you have them on hand.

Each serving of this dish contains approximately 8,550IU of vitamin A, 50mg of vitamin C, 180mg of calcium, 7.9mg of iron, 360mcg of folate, 395mcg of vitamin K, 440mg of phosphorus, 250mg of magnesium, and 7mcg of selenium. Not too bad for under 20 minutes of work. I also like the fiber and protein content of this meal.

Unrelated Note:

My day is not going at all as I had originally planned. Having my hubby home until 2pm disrupted my schedule. ;-) Fortunately Dan’s head started feeling better and he has gone downtown to his office. We will see if I can get back on schedule. I am not hopeful. But tomorrow is another day.

For now I need to run so that I can get a few things accomplished before dinner. I hope you are all having a fabulous Wednesday. We are halfway to the weekend! Talk to you all again soon.


  1. I think this dish is beautiful, and I bet it tastes great, but...
    I haven't tried quinoa yet....

  2. Brandi,

    You really need to try quinoa. It is packed with nutrition. The taste is very mild. Even my elderly parents will eat it without complaint. And believe me they aren't afraid to complain. LOL.


  3. Well you know I'm going to love this one. I totally would have started with 3 chipotle peppers LOL!

  4. Heather,

    I was wondering whether I was channeling you today for lunch. LOL, I love your pepper comment. I should have started with 2.


  5. Great! I'm always trying to add more quinoa to my diet!

  6. Janelle,

    I try to sneek quinoa in every place I can. The nutritional profile is too good to not use it often.



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