Friday, November 16, 2012

Black Bean & Corn Southwestern Quinoa

I am often intimidated by 'trendy' health foods, and slowly get my feet wet until I am able to start incorporating them into my cooking on a regular basis. For instance, coconut oil was something I thought was too expensive to use and would add a weird taste to my foods. I actually found it to be quite affordable at Trader Joe's, and started making my microwave popcorn with it (WHICH I HIGHLY RECOMMEND). Now, I'm using it in place of olive oil in almost everything, from stir fry to baking and loving it. Quinoa was similar (and equally scary) to me, until I started using this recipe. The wonderful thing about Quinoa is that it is a great source of protein in a seed, which gives us the benefits of protein without the fat and sodium found in meat dishes.

This recipe is one of the few in my mind that meets the criteria of being healthy, filling, delicious, and easy to make. It is another work-approved dish in that whenever leftovers are brought for lunch, people inevitably ask me for the recipe. It's great to 'doll up' with guacamole, salsa, sour cream, cheese.. whatever you put on your tacos will go well on this.

Heat a few teaspoons of vegetable oil (I use olive or coconut, both work well) in a pan and stir in one chopped onion and 3 cloves garlic (diced) until the onions are slightly browned and the garlic is fragrant. Add in 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa and stir into the mixture for a few moments.

Add in 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth to cover the quinoa, in addition to 1 teaspoon ground cumin (side question: Is it pronounced coo-min or cue-min?), 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. 

Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover the pan, reduce heat, and allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes (mine takes around 15-17 minutes).

Here it is, all fluffed up having absorbed the broth:

Now's the fun part: stir in 1 cup of frozen corn kernels, 2 15 oz. cans of black beans (drained and rinsed), 1 bell pepper, chopped (any color) and 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or frozen cilantro, if you're doing the whole pinterest-herb-ice-cube trick). Simmer on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, or until the corn is warm. Serve with guacamole, salsa, sour cream, cheese, and any other toppings you like!

Black Bean & Corn Southwestern Quinoa
Recipe adapted from: 3LIONCUBS on
Serves: 6
Ready in: 45 minutes


1-2 teaspoons vegetable, olive, or coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 15 oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Guacamole, cheese, sour cream, and/or salsa, for serving

1) Heat the oil over medium-low heat in a large pan. Stir in the onion and garlic, and sautee until garlic is fragrant and onion is somewhat browned.

2) Add the quinoa into the same pan, stirring. After a few moments, add in the broth as needed, until the quinoa is covered. Add in cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir, and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover pan and reduce heat to allow for it to simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

3) Once quinoa has absorbed the broth, stir in the frozen corn, pepper, black beans, and cilantro. Keep over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, or until corn has warmed up.

4) Serve with toppings, and enjoy!

Linked to:

Or so she says


  1. I love quinoa and coconut oil! This recipe looks delicious. Thanks for sharing Claire!

    1. You're very welcome. Thank YOU for sharing your many fantastic recipes over the years with me!

  2. This looks so delicious. Perfect fall recipe! I would love to have you come share some of your great ideas at the link party on ‘Or so she says…' There’s one going on right now (and every Saturday – Tuesday). Hope to see you there!

    1. Thanks for the invitation, just linked up :)