Adventures in Cooking – Week 8

I love eating at Chipotle.  I rarely go to a fast-food restaurant these days, so every trip is considered a special treat. When I go to Chipotle, it’s usually when I’ve run out of salad for lunch at work and I didn’t have time to go to the store the night before.  I always get a buritto bowl with black beans, brown rice, a little bit of lettuce, cheese, and roasted chili-corn salsa. Love it!  This week’s recipe reminds me a bit of this favorite fast-food indulgence.

Black Bean and Sweet Corn Quinoa Salad

Black Bean and Sweet Corn Quinoa Salad


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (beef broth also provides an interesting flavor)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen sweet white corn
  • 1 3/4 cup dry black beans
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped


  • First, rinse and sort the dried beans, discarding any blemished ones or any grit.  Let them soak for 12 hours in a bowl along with 6 cups water.  Drain the beans.
  • In a large saucepan, cover drained, soaked beans with 6 cups of fresh water. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, partly covered, and topping up with water if necessary, for about 1 hour. Drain the beans.
  • In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  When shimmering and hot, add the onions and sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.  Add the garlic and stir for a minute or two until the garlic is fragrant, being careful not to burn the garlic.
  • Add the quinoa and cover with broth.  Stir in cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes (or until all the liquid is absorbed).
  • Stir in the frozen corn and black beans.  Cover and let the post sit off the heat until the corn and beans are heated through, about 5-6 minutes.  Stir in the cilantro.  Serve warn or chilled – it is delicious both ways!

I let the black beans sit in the quinoa mixture longer that 6 minutes, so the quinoa turned a gray color.  It still tasted yummy!  Just add some lettuce and cheese and I now have my own homemade burrito bowl.


Adventures in Cooking – Week 4

Like many projects that I have going on right now, I procrastinated on cooking a new recipe this week until the very last minute.  No really, I started this week’s recipe about 2 hours ago (after I stopped playing Tiny Tower) and just finished enjoying my first dish.  After last week’s disaster, I think I was a bit reluctant to get back in there and try something new.  I finally decided on Friday that I would make another “soup/stew” recipe since the first one I tried turned out great.

This week’s recipe was a success!  After browsing through Pinterest, I came across a vegetarian recipe for chili that uses quinoa, my favorite rice substitute.  Since I had most of the ingredients on hand, I thought I would give this one a try.  I did make a couple of substitutions since I’m not a big fan of using canned products when I can easily buy the fresher version.  I used dried kidney beans and black beans that had soaked the night before instead of the canned beans and I used 10 medium tomatoes instead of the canned tomatoes.

Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

Chili garnished with sour cream and green onions


  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  •  rinsed 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper
  •  chopped 1 red bell pepper
  • chopped 1 medium zucchini
  • chopped 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2-3 tablespoons chili powder, depending on your taste (I used 2 1/2 and it was a bit too spicy)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Optional toppings: green onions, avocado slices, cheese, sour cream, Greek yogurt, chips, crackers, etc.


  1. In a medium sauce pan, combine the quinoa and water. Cook over medium heat until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, jalapeño, carrot, celery, peppers, and zucchini. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the black beans, kidney beans, tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Stir in the cooked quinoa. Season with chili powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Simmer chili on low for about 30 minutes. Serve warm.

That’s it!  It does take a while to prep everything, but it was really easy to cook.  I was able to freeze the rest of it so I should be set for the next couple of weeks.  Hopefully, you’ll give this recipe a try.

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