Quinoa

On a recent trip to Peru, I was introduced to quinoa and immediately fell in love!  Quinoa looks and cooks like a pasta but it’s actually a seriously healthy grain.  This little super food packs a serious protein punch and a good dose of fiber.  While in Peru, we had the opportunity to visit Machu Pichu, the “Lost City of the Incas”.

It was absolutely fascinating and I highly recommend this trip for any of you adventure-seekers!!  This Incan city dates back to 1400AD and they had running water, shelter, irrigated crops (on the side of a mountain) and so much more.  The fact that these Incas were able to live 7,000 feet above sea level is absolutely fascinating.  The reason I’m telling you all of this is because the Incas considered Quinoa to be the “mother of all grains”!  If this fascinating culture thought so highly of quinoa, that’s enough proof for me.  I’ve been eating it regularly ever since this trip.  Black beans and quinoa is one of my favorite recipes and it’s so easy!  I just recently introduced quinoa to my little girl and she loves it!  Here is the recipe for both!  Enjoy!

Black Bean Banana Quinoa

  • 1/4 cup Quinoa, rinsed*
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup Black Beans
  • 1 Ripe Banana

Combine the quinoa and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  In a separate saucepan over low heat, mash the black beans with a fork and then mash in the banana.  Serve the black bean and banana mixture over the quinoa or stir it all together.  This combo would also be excellent with avocado!

Black Beans and Quinoa

  • 1 tablespoon Canola Oil
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 2-3 Cloves Garlic, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups Vegetable or Chicken Stock
  • 3/4 cup Quinoa, rinsed*
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 cup Frozen Corn
  • 1 1/2 cups Black Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped

Saute onion and garlic in the canola oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until tender.  Stir in quinoa and stock.  Season with cumin and cayenne pepper.  Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cover for 20 minutes.  Stir in frozen corn and cook for about 5 more minutes.  Add the black beans and cilantro and serve.

*It is important to rinse quinoa before cooking it.  I use a sieve (mesh strainer) for this so I don’t lose any of the precious little grains.

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11 comments


  1. Joe Crosthwait

    Is this any relation to Quinine?

  2. Brooke

    Is the banana one for Smidge or for grown ups. I love me some quinoa!

  3. Great recipe! I’m a big fan of quinoa but I haven’t cooked with it in a while. Time to change that!

  4. I am so intrigued by your addition of banana to quinoa! I love whipping up quinoa for a weeknight meal or mid-week lunch, but I’ve never thought of that… definitely something to try in the future! Thanks for the idea ;)

  5. sabjimata

    there is a nytimes article today about the popularity of quinoa! love how you tie your travels into your cooking. lovely

  6. Jillian

    Add quinoa to the list of foods we don’t get here. I’d imagine I could sub semolina or couscous?

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