I’ve mentioned before that I don’t just do home decor projects at home – I enjoy cooking and I like eating even more. And the fella works on his feet anywhere from 8 to 14 hours a day depending on the season, so he can eat a LOT. I try to make home cooked meals at least five nights per week (try), since its cheaper than eating out and the man needs sustenance. Anyway all of that is to say… I’m back today with another recipe that is full of flavor and spice!
Disclaimer: this recipe isn’t for wimps. If you don’t like spicy food, cut the jalapeno and dial back the white and cayenne peppers… But don’t tell me about it. It’ll just depress me.
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 bell peppers
- 1 jalapeno (I don’t de-seed mine because I’m a glutton for punishment)
- 1/2 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 can low sodium black beans, drained
- Olive oil
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- Large skillet
- 3 quart saucepan
The above quantities feed the fella and I for maybe three whole nights but we have serious appetites. You could probably manage to feed eight people with this amount of food. I love making this much early in the week, though. The fella and I work long hours and between my full time job and working on this blog, it’s easier if I don’t have to cook every night.
Tip: mix your spices together ahead of time. I use the above mixture of spices on like 82% of our meals. We love spicy Mexican-style dishes and that mixture is perfect for chicken, beef and even shrimp! If you don’t want to mix your own spices, pick up a packet of taco seasoning from the salad dressing aisle of your grocery store – I’m pretty sure it’s the same ingredients!
To start, cut your chicken breasts into one-inch cubes. Pop them in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and your spice mixture and stick them in the fridge while you get busy with your quinoa.
Quinoa seems intimidating, but it’s super easy to cook. Almost the same procedure as rice. TheKitchn has an informative post that I followed when I first started cooking with this hearty and healthy little grain. I toast mine a little longer than most websites say; I just prefer a toastier taste. This particular time it was about long enough for me to do some sick air guitar while Zeppelin / Black Dog played. You needn’t know how often this type of behavior happens at my house. Hint: it’s frequently.
Anyway, once your quinoa is toasted and simmering in a pot, chop your veggies if you haven’t already. If you have, pat yourself on the back for being prepared.
Your burner should be on medium for this part. Once your skillet is hot, drizzle olive oil and dump in your chicken.
Once the chicken is almost fully cooked (5-6 min), toss in your frozen corn and black beans.
Two or three minutes later, toss in your veggies and minced garlic.
Another two or three minutes and your quinoa should be ready to go in too.
Mix it up a bit and then turn off the heat. Friend, you’re ready to eat now, aren’t you?!
Spoon some in to a bowl with your favorite toppings (mine are shredded cheese, sour cream, fresh jalapenos and cilantro). In the winter I usually squeeze in a few pieces of jalapeno cornbread with it. Recommend serving with your favorite cerveza or a refreshing margarita!
What do you guys like to cook with quinoa? Do tell…