Quinoa with Peppers and Beans

The first time I prepared quinoa was for a graduation tea party. It replaced bulgar in a tabouli salad. I had no idea what I was doing. Rinse it?! What are those rings?! But I decided to get to know quinoa after I fell in love with Whole Food's quinoa cake (which I tried to make, but failed miserably...I'll have to try that again. I shall not be defeated by Whole Foods!!!)

I've come to understand that a fine wired mesh strainer is best and yes, the rings are edible, it's pronounced KEEN-WA not kwin-oh-a (so embarassing), that it contains more protein than any grain, it's gluten-free, and has lots of calcium, iron, fiber B vitamins, vitamin E, and folate. *Swoon!* I love you, quinoa!

This recipe is a simple side. Of course you can vary the veggies or the seasonings, but the way you cook the quinoa is the same 1 1/4 C liquid to 1/2 C quinoa.
1 1/4 C broth
1/2 C quinoa, rinsed until the water runs clear
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T ginger, minced (or 1/2 T ginger powder)
1/4 t whole cumin seeds or 1/2 t ground cumin
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced thin
1/2 large onion, cut into thin wedges
1 can (15 oz) of black beans
1/4 C chopped cilantro
Bring 1 C broth to a boil in a medium saucepan, add quinoa and return to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, and cook, stirring until fragrant. Add the onions and cook until almost tender. Add the bell peppers and cook until tender. Stir in the beans and the remaining broth and cook for 2 minutes.

Fluff the quinoa with a fork and stir in cilantro. Place in a bowl and top with the bell peppers.

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