Quinoa and Black Beans

Another bowl of slop… but so good! And again, so cheap.  This is like rice and beans, but with quinoa instead of rice.

QUINOA & BLACK BEANS

  • 1 tsp. butter or olive or coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 C uncooked quinoa, soaked for 24 hours. (See importance of soaking here and see how to soak quinoa here.)
  • 1 1/2 C chicken stock
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin (or more)
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional… or to taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 C frozen corn
  • 2 15oz cans black beans (or 3-4 cups)
  • 1/2 C chopped fresh cilantro
  • sour cream and shredded cheese for garnish (optional)

1. Heat oil and saute onion until browned. Add garlic and cook until just fragrant.

2. Rinse and drain quinoa. Put into saucepan and cover with chicken stock and spices. Add cooked onion and garlic to saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and reduce heat, simmer 20 minutes or so.

3. Add frozen corn and continue to simmer about 5 minutes or until corn is heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro and serve.

[Note: I upped the amount of spices I put in mine but I didn’t make the exact amounts of anything either. Make sure you taste and add more if it is too bland.]

Variations:  Add steak, chicken, or shrimp. Add red, yellow or green peppers. Add jalapenos for heat.

[photo credit]

Quinoa Meatballs

Again, with the no/low-carb meals.

Quinoa is actually not a grain, it is a member of the grass family and related to beets and spinach.

Sally Fallon, the president of the Weston A. Price Foundation and co-author of Nourishing Traditions, says: “Quinoa is a staple food of the Incas and the Indians in Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia… Quinoa contains 16-20% protein and is high in cystine, lysine and methionine–amino acids that tend to be low in other grains. It contains iron, calcium and phosphorus, B vitamins and vitamin E, and is relatively high in fat. Like all grains, quinoa contains anti-nutrients and therefore requires a long soaking as part of the preparation process.”

Soaking instructions: Soak in a warm water mixture (warm water plus 2 Tablespoons whey, yogurt, kefir or buttermilk). Use a 1:3 ratio of quinoa to warm water (for 2 C quinoa, use 6 C water) at least 12 hours to remove phytates. Rinse and drain well. Then put in pan with double the amount of water or stock and bring to a boil. Skim (foam off the top), reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour or more on very low heat. (watch and taste to see when done.. with this low amount it could be done sooner than this. I make more at the same time for another dish during the week, so I have never made only 3/4 C.)

You can use quinoa in place of rice and as fillers for things like meatballs and for salads and casseroles. It has a unique flavor, so it does add a little different twist on things so don’t expect it to just disappear into meatballs and not notice that its there. You will. But it’s good!

QUINOA MEATBALLS

1# ground beef
3/4 C. quinoa, cooked
1/4 C. finely chopped onions
1/4 C. grated carrots
1/4 C. grated zucchini
2 T ketchup
1 T chopped garlic
1 T soy sauce
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. dried thyme
1 egg

[photo credit]

Low-Carb Salmon Cakes

Husband is eating low carb for a while while he slims down to where he wants to be. Not totally carb-free, but just low carb as in no toast with his eggs, no bun with his burger, and no sugar! He’s doing really well and I thought I would help him along by making these Salmon Cakes that don’t have any fillers in them like bread crumbs. I always use leftover pieces of sprouted whole wheat bread that I crumble in a food processor, never white bread crumbs, but still, it is nice to have a few meals without grains in them.
LOW-CARB SALMON CAKES
  • 1 14.75-oz Can Wild-caught Salmon (Or an equivalent amount of fresh or frozen wild-caught salmon)
  • 1 Carrot, peeled and diced small or minced
  • 1 Celery Stalk, diced small or minced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley
  • 3 Eggs from Pastured Hens
  • 1 Celery Stalk
  • ¼ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • Unrefined Sea Salt to Taste
  • Coconut Oil for Frying

Heat the oil in a pan, and fry the onions, carrots, garlic and celery.

Mix together vegetables, parsley, paprika, salmon and eggs until well blended.

Form 8 patties and gently fry them in a tablespoon or so of coconut oil, gently turning them when one side is done.

Serve warm and with yogurt-mustard dipping sauce. (Kids can dip them in yogurt or ketchup or BBQ sauce)

YOGURT-MUSTARD DIPPING SAUCE

  • 1 Cup Whole-Milk Yogurt
  • 1-3 Tablespoons or so (to desired taste) Brown or Spicy Mustard
  • chopped fresh parsley or chives (optional)