Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Black Bean and Quinoa Bowl with Peach Salsa

One of my best friends got married recently, and for her wedding present from me and another friend, she asked that we make her a cookbook of some of our favorite recipes. In the process of compiling recipes for this cookbook, I’ve been reminded of how much I love cooking. And adapting recipes. And writing about food. And sharing food with others.

So I am resolved to post recipes and food pictures more often—I’m going to aim for about once a week. Photographing my food inspires me to make my meal a work of art, an experience. To not just throw something on a plate and scarf it down while catching the latest episode of Community or SVU.

Posting the photos and corresponding recipes provides a way to share the experience with others, even on evenings I eat alone.

So today I present to you this recipe from a food blog I’ve just started following within the last week or two. Surprisingly, I followed it pretty closely. The only significant change I made was to cook only 1 cup of quinoa rather than 2, and I’m very happy with that decision. I think the quinoa to bean to salsa ratio was perfect.

Black Bean and Quinoa Bowl with Peach Salsa
Adapted slightly from
Yield: 4 servings

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
6-8 green onions, sliced
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Peach Salsa Ingredients
4 ripe peaches, pitted and chopped (peeling is optional)
1/2 medium to large red onion, finely chopped
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped (more or less to taste)
Juice of 1 lime
Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
Kosher salt, to taste

Rinse the quinoa well and drain. To a small saucepan add the quinoa and 1-1/2 cups water, and a few pinches of salt, if desired. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until water has been absorbed. Turn off the heat and let sit covered to cool for about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and add salt and pepper to taste.

Note: Quinoa package directions often call for a 1 to 2 ratio of quinoa to water. On this site’s recommendation, I tried a 1 to 1-1/2 ratio (1 cup of quinoa to 1-1/2 cups water), and the quinoa turned out fluffier and less watery/mushy. I’ll definitely stick with this method for future quinoa needs.

While the quinoa cooks, chop/prepare the salsa ingredients and combine them all in a bowl. Set aside.

Combine the beans, green onions, cumin, chili powder, 1/4 tsp. salt, and pepper. Mix well. Adjust seasonings, if desired.

To serve, dish the quinoa into bowls, top with black bean mixture and peach salsa.

So good! Fresh, summery, and hearty, with a very healthy taste that the quinoa brings to the party. I enjoyed eating this for dinner last night and am excited about eating the leftovers throughout the rest of this week. Sadly, I forgot to buy a jalapeno while at the grocery store. I did miss it, but the dish didn’t suffer from it. Also, while in the checkout line, I thought, “I should have picked up an avocado or two to dice onto the top of this bowl!” I really wish I’d had that thought earlier, because after tasting the dish, I definitely think avocado would have taken this dish up a notch. Next time!

Nutritional Information Per Serving (compliments of My Fitness Pal)
423 calories; 4.9 g. fat; 78.6 g total carbs (18.4 g. dietary fiber, 13.2 g. sugars); 19.6 g. protein.

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