Simply Put, Quinoa & Black Beans

I've been craving me some vegetarian dishes recently. I tend to eat one meatless meal per day, and if not, something lighter and not quite so meaty, like eggs. Leading up to the end of the semester, though, I started to clean out the fridge and freezer of all things that would go bad if left alone for a month, and frozen meat is much more of a threat than canned beans. So, a little veggie entree is much welcomed in my mind right now. I made this recipe for quinoa and black beans a long time ago, but I like to try to match up my food thoughts and feelings with the recipe I share with you, even if it's not a recipe I just got back from preparing.

This recipe for quinoa and black beans is the quintessence of simplicity. In fact, had I not made certain changes, I fear it might even be (dare I say it?) - bland. Fear not, though! I did interfere with Eating Well's suggestions, and tampered away to result in a very clean-tasting, refreshingly uncomplicated dish that I am very happy with. You taste every ingredient, and the sour cream does a nice job of binding it all together. I almost don't want to call this a recipe, because it could be so easily adapted to whatever is in your fridge at the moment. I've even made other, somewhat similar quinoa-and-black-bean combos (one such recipe I've even posted here already). Maybe that's why it's called "quinoa and black beans:" anything more concrete than that like "stir fry" or "pilaf" would tie it down too much. However, if you follow the ingredients list that I used, I don't think that you'll be disappointed. This can even be made in one pot if you cook the quinoa first and then add in everything else, and who doesn't love small messes in the kitchen?

Simply Satisfying Quinoa & Black Beans, adapted from Eating Well
Yield: 2 servings

The Ingredients
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 plum tomato, chopped
1 - 1.5C spinach (2 good handfuls)
2 Tbsp. chopped red onion
1/2C canned black beans, rinsed
2 Tbsp. broth or water (definitely go for the broth)
4 tsp. sour cream (non-fat is fine)
curry powder, to taste
black pepper, to taste
1/2C hot, cooked quinoa

The Method
In a sauce pan (the same one you used for the quinoa, unless you're making that simultaneously instead of beforehand), add the oil, pepper, onion, curry powder, and black pepper. If you want your spinach to be fully wilted, you might want to add it in here, too. I let mine do a semi-wilt by adding it in later. Cook over medium heat until just tender.

Add in the rest of the ingredients - except the quinoa and sour cream - and cook until heated through. Finally, add in the quinoa and stir together before enjoying with 2tsp. sour cream dolloped on top of each serving.

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