The Recipes

Black Bean Quinoa

I've been in love with "super grains" lately, as well as anything wallet-friendly and vegetarian.  However, being a Midwesterner, I will always be a meat lover at heart, so I have to come up with recipes that satisfy that confounding taste sense: umami.  Most people are aware of the other four taste senses: sweet, sour, salty, and bitter.  Umami is the sense that is Japanese for "meaty."  So, when I'm cooking vegetarian dishes, I try and make sure that I play to that sense so that I don't feel deprived.

Black Bean Quinoa


- 1/4 yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/4 yellow onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 14.5-oz. can of black beans, rinsed and drained
- palmful of cumin
- 1 T. Mexican oregano
- a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce
- 1/4 c. quinoa, prepared to package instructions (will generally take about 15 minutes)
- splash vegetable stock
- salt
- pepper
- olive oil
- handful of cilantro and parsley, chopped for garnish

Start the quinoa cooking.  While it cooks, heat 1 T. of oil in a pot.  Add the onions and pepper, season with salt, and let the vegetables soften for 5-6 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for a minute longer.  Add in the beans, cumin, oregano, and hot sauce.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.  Add in a splash of stock and let it simmer until the quinoa is ready.  Add in the quinoa and stir to combine.  Garnish with the cilantro and parsley, and you have a hearty dish for lunch or dinner.  Feel free to have a little bit of dessert since you were so health-conscious with this meal:)