You come home from ________ which took longer than you anticipated and are exhausted ~ only you remember that you still need to make supper. No problem…you have a plan…until you open the cupboard/frig/freezer and discover a) somebody’s eaten a crucial ingredient to your plan, b) formerly mentioned crucial ingredient has spoiled, or c) you are actually missing said ingredient that you thought you picked up at the grocery store last week. Now what?
This recipe is what ~ at least for me two nights ago! Quinoa (pronounced keenwa) is a super fast “grain” to cook up. (It’s actually a seed, but it’s texture and behavior is more grain-like. It has no gluten and loads of protein.) It adds plenty of substance to a dish for the hungry hordes who can’t subsist on haute cuisine’s small portions.
Even as I made this as a substitute for what I was supposed to make, I found out I still had an ingredient problem. When I opened the new salsa/picante sauce jar and poured it into the measuring cup, lo and behold, it wasn’t enough!! (I was doubling this recipe.) I already had some of the ingredients cooking. What was I going to do? Then I remembered I had some cans of Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilis. Perfect. I was so excited that I opened the can and tossed the whole thing into the frying pan…without measuring it. Rats. Did I mention that I was exhausted out of my mind? Mmm.
Well, now I figured I would have a slightly soupy mix. I could either take the lid off and cook it all down, taking more time than I was willing to give, OR I could get some soycurls out of the freezer, snap them into small pieces, and throw them into the mix to soak up the excess. (What are soycurls? Read this.) I went with the soycurls ~ just 1 c. for the doubled recipe. Perfect! Hubby announced that the dish needed more soycurls…go figure. I could have left them out if I hadn’t dumped so much liquid in!
This dish can be as mild or spicy as you like, depending on the salsa, picante sauce, or canned diced tomato/green chilis you have on hand. Serve it with soy sour cream, diced avocado, and/or shredded vegan cheese. Add a veggie and your are set to go ~ all in about 20-30 minutes.
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1-2 T. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 c. quinoa, rinsed well and drained
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1-1 1/2 c. salsa or picante sauce, your choice of mild to hot **
- 1 1/2 c. water
- 1/2 c. soycurls, optional (use full measure of salsa/picante sauce if adding these.)
Saute the chopped onion in olive oil until a few pieces are beginning to brown on the edges and the rest are softened. Add remaining ingredients. Stir and cover, simmering for 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Taste quinoa to test if it is fully cooked (tiny “tails” or curls will loosen from the kernels as they reach preparedness.) Add extra salsa or water as needed to keep from sticking if extra cooking time is required. If it seems too soupy, take the lid off and continue simmering.
** Use 1 c. if you want a drier end result. You can always add more salsa as the dish simmers if it seems like the quinoa isn’t soft yet, but things are getting dry. If you want to add 1/2 c. of soycurls, use the full 1 1/2 c.