I guess this is another vegan recipe and I didn’t even realize it.  So you’re in luck!  You get a total of 5 vegan recipes from me!

This was a dish that I pretty much improvised on.  Here’s the story- Brad plays double header softballs games every Wednesday night and so for dinner those nights, I like to do really good, healthy meals that will provide him with lots of energy and not weigh him down for his games.  It had been awhile since I had made a made a quinoa dish, so we were due.  I knew I didn’t want to have any cheese in it, or any meat, so in order for it to be pretty filling, I figured it needed… beans!  2 kinds of beans!  Then all I did was add some things that were left in the pantry and I had a great dish!

I’ve been doing our grocery shopping at Whole Foods now and in their bulk section (which is awesome!) I found some Tri-Color Quinoa.  They had 3 or 4 different kinds, which I didn’t even know existed!  It didn’t taste any different, but it sure was prettier!  Maybe it’s healthier… or not, who knows.  But it cooked the same and tasted the same so I was happy with it!

This dish is really simple to make.  You have to allow time for the quinoa to cook, which is a good 15-20 minutes.  But once the quinoa is cooked, you just add some beans, red onion, peppers and a can of Rotel.  Yea, that’s seriously it.  But it has lots of flavor and with the beans, it’s very filling.  The Rotel adds some really good flavor with the peppers in it and the beans give it an extra texture that I really enjoy.  I chose to use pinto beans and black beans, just so it wasn’t too simple.  I’m glad I did that.  I like the combination of the two.  You could really add to this dish as well.  I had some jalapenos (that turned red I think because of the all the freaking sun and heat) and a banana pepper from our garden that I needed to use up, so I threw them in there.  You could add fresh tomatoes, a can of green chiles, some Mexican seasoning like cumin and chili powder, you could add chicken to this… the options are endless.  It’s definitely a meal you can get creative with!  You can also use it as a side dish to burgers, grilled chicken, grilled steak…. It pretty much goes with whatever you want it to!

… It’s also incredible with guacamole on top, I failed to capture a photo of that though because I was scarfing it all down too quickly.  Sometimes I just get too excited.  But I would highly recommend topping it with the guacamole.  That really adds a whole new dimension!

Bean and Tri-Color Quinoa Salad
Created from my awesome mind
Makes about 4-6 servings

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2/3 can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed (I found a whole can of both beans was just a little too much)
2/3 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of Original Rotel
1 tablespoon finely diced red onion (I don’t like a lot of red onion)
1-2 jalapenos, finely diced
1 banana pepper, finely diced

Bring 2 1/2 cups of water and quinoa to a boil in a medium sized saucepan.  Reduce heat to a simmer and allow to simmer until the water is gone, about 15-20 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add the beans, Rotel, red onion, jalapenos and banana peppers and stir well.

Serve with cilantro on top and if you’re feeling wild… throw some guac on there, you’ll be glad you did it!

Oh!  It also keeps really well so eat this for lunch leftover.  It’s seriously just as great as it is fresh!

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