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Kickin Fiesta Quinoa

If you’re looking for a hearty, guilt free fiesta for your mouth, look no further. This spicy dish uses the protein packed grain quinoa (KEEN wah) along with fiber rich black beans for a new vegetarian – and vegan – interpretation of traditional Tex-Mex flavors. It’s also surprisingly filling for a meatless dish. The earthy quinoa adds another layer of flavor, along with a heartier texture, so that you’ll never even miss what’s missing.

You can experiment with the spice measurements, as the dish does have a bit of a kick as written. Feel free to turn the heat level up or down according to your own personal taste. The optional avocado and tomato garnish at the end can provide a refreshing, cool finish no matter how adventurous your taste buds happen to be, and do so without all the fat and calories of dairy based garnishes.

To round out the meal you can prepare some garlicky greens like kale and some fresh fruit for dessert.

Kickin’ Fiesta Quinoa

2 tbsp olive oil

½ white onion

1 small can diced green chilies, drained

1 clove minced garlic

¾ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed

1 ½ cup water

1 ½ tsp cumin

½ tsp cayenne

pepper to taste

1 can black beans, drained

1 can Mexi-corn blend, drained

fresh tomato, diced*

avocado, diced*

*optional

Heat oil in skillet. Add onion, garlic and chilies – saute until onion is tender. Rinse and drain quinoa, using a mesh strainer. Stir into sauteed vegetables. Add water and spices and bring to boil. Reduce heat and cover pan tightly, allow to simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

Add beans and corn and cook a bit longer until all vegetables are warmed through. Serve topped with diced tomatoes and or avocado for garnish.

Serves 4