Tag Archives: Black Beans

Delicious One Pot Rice and Beans with Chicken and Cilantro

Happy Friday everyone!

I’ve had a pretty quiet week this week. From Monday through to Thursday I was completely free. So got up to some things. Took the public transport like a pro yesterday though. Went from one side of the city allllll the way to the other side. Now I know that may not seem all that impressive, but my new city is a HUGE city.

Edmonton_street_map

I feel like I have accomplished a lot after going from the one side of my city to the other. But I became much prouder today after having hung up a few things in my kitchen! Anyway we aren’t here to listen to my happy moments, we are here for food!

My handiwork

So for this evening’s meal I made a basic rice and beans dish, except it wasn’t just your normal rice and black beans dish, but a fabulous dish.

I’ve been wanting to make this recipe for a good while and finally got around to it. This recipe comes from the website Cooking Classy while the direct link for this recipe can be found here. Are you still curious to what I’ve cooked up? Well it is a One Pan Cilantro, Lime, and Chicken Rice and Bean dish. How good does Cilantro, Lime, and Chicken sound in a black bean and rice dish? Heavenly!

Black Bean and Rice with Chicken, Cilantro, and Lime

The recipe I followed was for four portions but I pretty much halved it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 breast (283g) of chicken, diced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 green onions (10g), sliced (set aside half the chives for later)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (237ml) vegetable broth
  • 1 chili pepper, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 can (250ml) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup (185g) white rice
  • ¼ cup (15g) chopped cilantro

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet for medium-high heat and fry chicken seasoned with salt and pepper for approx. 6 minutes, add the white bits of the green onions and garlic to the chicken and cook for a minute.

  2. Sit in broth, green bits of green onion, green chili, lime zest, lime juice, black beans, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture to boil. Add rice and allow to boil fully emerged in broth for a minute. Remove dish from heat while lid is on skillet and allow dish to rest for 5/6 minutes.

  3. If rice is not cooked fully, return pan to medium heat and cook and toss for 1 minute to allow rice to absorb excess moisture. Remove from heat, toss in cilantro and let rest uncovered 3 minutes.

  4. Top rice and beans with cilantro and green onion. Squirt some lime juice in the bowl before serving.

  5. Enjoy

I am so glad that I made this meal. It was so delicious! Lime, cilantro, and green onion is the perfect combo. Absolutely perfect.

Also, have any of you heard of Ma’amoul? It is the most delicious cookie I have ever come to know. My boss likes to purchase them for us to all enjoy at work. However today while I was grocery shopping I thought to buy some for my apartment too. I probably should have been strong but I really couldn’t help myself! Ma’amoul is a shortbread pastry generally filled with dates. This cookie is a traditional Lebanese cookie and is soooo good. I’m not really a date person but these are delightful!

Date Ma'amoul

I hope that you get to enjoy both the rice and bean dish and the date ma’amouls! The website Cooking Classy is a great website for fantastic recipes and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Happy eating!

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My Mexican First – Vegetarian Mushroom and Black Bean Burritos!

“If you are not from Mexico, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you talk about Mexican food?”

Well according to this blog I just read, its burritos. But really? Burritos is what you think about?

I think about beans. Though that may be due to the fact that I know what Mexicans-Americans are called when you want to be rude and disrespectful. In Spanish that word we used to be offensive is “frijolero”, this translates to beaner. It is the Spanish version of the horrible word Chink for a Chinese-American person or Gringo for an American or white person.

Anyway, if I am being fully honest, when I think about burritos I think about Americans. Although I know burritos originally come from Mexico, I think about Americans and how all my American friends love Taco Bell and burritos and all that other good stuff.

I actually don’t think I have ever had a burrito. I can recall most of what has gone in my mouth, but a burrito may not have ever been something I’ve ingested.

So yesterday was the first time I ever got to eat a burrito! Boy are they filling! But now I see why Americans like them so much. The recipe I followed was meant to make the burrito a Sriracha rice infused wrap, but A) I can barely handle spice and B) what exactly is Sriracha? Besides this thing all the Americans are raving about!

I got the recipe from Amuse Your Bouche though the direct link to the recipe can be found here.

Vegetarian Burrito with Chipotle Dipping Sauce
Vegetarian Burrito with Chipotle Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 cups (210g) basmati rice
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can (425g) diced tomatoes
  • 3 teaspoons paprika powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Tabasco sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (100g) mushrooms, sliced
  • 5 large flour tortillas
  • 1 can (425g) black beans
  • ¾ cup (86g) cheddar cheese, grated
  • ½ cup (25g) cilantro, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 190ᵒC (375ᵒF)

  2. Boil rice as directed on package, approx. 15-20 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile in a medium wok heat up olive oil and pour in diced tomatoes and begin to cool. Mix in paprika powder, cumin, Tobasco sauce (you can add more if desired), and salt and pepper.

  4. Once rice is cooked, mix tomato and Tobasco sauce mixture into rice and set aside.

  5. In another frying pan (or reuse wok) sauté garlic and sliced mushrooms until fragrant and soft.

  6. To assemble the burritos, place large tortilla on a sheet of tin foil just a bit larger than wrap. Spoon three heaping tablespoons of rice in centre of the tortilla, spoon a couple tablespoons of black beans on rice, one tablespoon of mushrooms on beans, sprinkle with cheddar cheese, and top with chopped cilantro.

  7. Fold tortilla wrap into a large roll and fold tin foil around tortilla roll tightly. Place in preheated oven and cool for twenty minutes.

  8. Serve and enjoy!

Assembly of Vegetarian Burrito
Assembly of Vegetarian Burrito
Rolling of Burrito
Rolling of Burrito

You can also freeze the burritos if you do not want to cook them yet! But I’d cook them – as they are delicious! Though I’m sure they’d be better with Sriracha infused rice, but as a non-American I do not know what that truly tastes like. Though someone recently told me (and I’m quoting him) that it is so hot it makes you shit yourself. He however used less words and more emojis.

Well the recipe that you read above here is on the bland side if you like a kick in your meals, so in case you may feel it is kind of boring so I did make a dipping sauce (which is also a salad dressing)! My dad likes to add some pimiento to his meals, whether it be Sambal bajak or like last night, this dipping sauce. I got the recipe for the salad dressing/dipping sauce from here. Notice that this person has the same background/layout! I’ve not seen it on another persons blog before until now!

If you are wondering how large each of the burritos look like, here is a picture of each of the burritos when laying on our baking sheet before I baked them!

5 Burritos on Baking Sheet
5 Burritos on Baking Sheet

If this is what all burritos taste like, I am hooked. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as my family and I have.

Happy eating!

Mexican Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

I love tacos! (dun dun dun dun dun) I love tacos!

In case you are wondering, I was creating the beat in between the lyrics of “I want candy”. But I don’t want candy, instead I love tacos.

Love love love tacos.

The best part about these tacos are that they are super healthy!

For a long time I’ve been interested in the idea of a lettuce wrap but never got around to doing it until today. I am so glad I finally got into it! This was a fantastic meal!

Mexican chicken Lettuce wrap

I got the recipe from the blog Pearls, Handcuffs, and Happy hour which I found on Pinterest after looking up Lettuce Wrap recipes. The direct link to the recipe can be found here. The recipe is quite a small one which I decided to increase in size, but as you already know – I LOVED it.

Ingredients:

  • 3 breasts chicken, cooked and shredded
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup (86g) can black beans
  • ½ cup (90g) can sweet corn
  • 1/3 cup (76g) green onion, sliced
  • 1/3 cup (15g) cilantro, chopped
  • 1/3 cup (8.5g) tortilla chips, crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar
  • 4 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 avocados, sliced (optional)
  • 1 head of lettuce (of your choice)

Instructions:

  1. Combine the chicken, beans, corn, onion, cilantro and chips in a large bowl and mix.

  2. Spoon in vinegar and mayonnaise and mix well.

  3. Wash head of lettuce and pat each of the leaves dry before spooning the chicken salad into the leaves.

  4. Serve and enjoy!

I honestly feel that this may be one of the best tacos I’ve had in a very long time. It reminds me of a deconstructed taco actually as there are tortillas in the salad, and usually a proper taco is held together with a hard shell tortilla.

Mexican Chicken SaladMexican Chicken Lettuce Wrap

Although the idea of a lettuce wrap doesn’t seem all that filling, I can tell you that my mom was incredibly full after her meal! Though I did give her a plateful of five wraps. She also tried the chicken salad with bread and decided that the lettuce wrap was ten times better with the salad than a slice of bread.

About the tortilla chips, I find buying tortilla chips in South Africa to be super difficult. Most the time when we go down the chip aisle we see a variety of assorted flavoured chips but rarely ever do we see basic chips like the ones we bought today. Thankfully we did find what we found today. But most the time it is SO hard to find that here.

Tortilla chips

I honestly adored this and hope you all enjoy it as much as mom and I did!

Happy eating!

One-Meal Bowl with Quinoa, Cilantro, and Chicken

What is your favourite herb? And do you pronounce the H in the word herb or pronounce it as “erb”? I guess because I was raised by my Canadian mother and speaking her English I tend to pronounce the H in herb. But although I speak Canadian English, there are a lot of American things I tend to do in English. Like I spell color without the U yet I spell a lot of other things with an RE at the end. Or I add the U to certain words like “neighbourhood”.

Anyway, what was I asking? Oh yeah, what is your favourite herb?

Mine is definitely cilantro (or coriander). The fresh stuff. Yum yum yum. Though I can tell you that it is difficult to grow. I’ve failed in Holland and in South Africa. Have any of you successfully grown cilantro?

So cilantro did feature in this evenings meal.

I made a fantastic quinoa and chicken bowls. Bowls being a meal combined in a bowl.

One Bowl Meal

I got the recipe from Eat. Drink. Love. – what a lovely name for a blog! The direct link for the recipe can be found here. I didn’t really make the bowl like the photos on Eat. Drink. Love., but it all tasted grand!

Ingredients:

  • 2 large chicken breasts, halved lengthwise
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup (170g) quinoa
  • 2 cups (470ml) chicken broth
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons lime juice
  • ¼ cup (15g) cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can (425g) black beans
  • ¼ cup (59ml) water
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cayenne powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (40g) cilantro, chopped
  • ¾ cup (115g) green peas
  • 1 large tomato, chopped

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine lime juice, honey, garlic, and salt and pepper then add chicken breasts to honey lime mixture and allow to marinade for 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile bring a pot of chicken broth to boil. Once boiling, add quinoa to bubbling chicken broth and cover pot. Remember to turn down heat to low to allow quinoa to simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes and do NOT remove lid until quinoa has fully absorbed broth. Then turn heat off.

  3. Mix in ¼ cup of cilantro and 1 ½ tablespoons into the quinoa. Add salt and pepper to quinoa for additional flavour.

  4. In a small frying pan on medium heat, add can of black beans WITH liquid. Mix in spices and mix well. Fill ¼ cup water to can of beans and then place in bean mixture. Turn heat down to low and allow black beans to simmer for 15 minutes.

  5. Then take chicken breasts from marinade and place in a frying pan at medium heat and begin to fry. Watch out that honey from marinade can cause chicken to burn easily.

  6. Once chicken is cooked set aside. Once cooled begin to shred chicken for bowls.

  7. When everything is ready begin setting up your bowls. Fill bowls in following order:

    1. Quinoa
    2. Chopped tomato
    3. Green peas
    4. Chopped cilantro
    5. Black beans
    6. Shredded chicken
  8. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Now you do not need to fill your bowls as I have, but my mom isn’t all too keen on black beans so I wanted to remove the bean flavour from mixing in with the quinoa for her. Just to ensure it isn’t all too black bean-y. And if you want you could also add some dairy to your dish (cheese or sour cream), but I kept it simple.

Quinoa, Tomato, and Green Peas
Quinoa, Tomato, and Green Peas

Although it was simple without cheese or sour cream it came out great! I have to say cilantro is definitely the key ingredient in this masterpiece. It just adds so much flavour to the meal!

Quinoa, Cilantro, and Chicken bowl

God, I love cilantro!

Well this meal turned out fantastically. Mom and I even went for seconds after setting up a plate for our housekeeper for lunch tomorrow. It was wonderful! The beans made the dish more Mexican, but the honey and lime made think of a more Asian meal. Which I find weird, but whatever.

If you end up making this I hope you love it as much as we did!

Happy eating!

Empanadas for Days!

Last week I spent my time in the Netherlands and as my Pilates classmates say “got soft”, they’re right. I didn’t eat all that healthy and didn’t feel guilty about it either. My week was spent gobbling stroopwafels! How awful right?! For those of you who do not know Dutch, a stroopwafel directly translates to a syrup waffle, this being two wafers filled with a syrup in between. When you are Dutch or have lived in the country for several years, you will know how heavenly these things are. Especially when you have been without them for three months or longer (as I have).

But because I have been in the Netherlands all of last week I didn’t have a kitchen to cook in so I mostly ate out or got salads from our local grocery store.

So I thought I’d write about a breakfast I had made for my Pilates class one Tuesday just two and a half weeks ago. I’ve been attending Pilates for about two and a half months now and love every minute of it. I’m getting fit while enjoying the company (all of which are women). I’ve also started to see a change in my body (before I went to NL that is), I could even get into a pair of shorts that were a struggle just this June! But the other week they fit perfectly on my problem area (my thighs). It felt great!

Anyway, I spoke to my class about the fact that I had made chicken empanadas the other day and they were really interested in them so I thought “why not make some vegetarian ones for these guys!” as half the class is a vegetarian.

So Tuesday I came to class with a tub of empanadas and little ketchup packets I had collected from some fast food joint!

Empanadas

I can honestly tell you that everyone loved them! My Pilates teacher even sat down with me and gobbled three or four! That’s how much they loved them! Good thing as I never had made these before! Would have been sad if my empanadas didn’t turn out to be a hit.

I got the recipe from here, though I didn’t follow this recipe for the pastry.

Ingredients:

For Pastry:

  • 2 ¼ cup (350g) plain flour
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch baking powder
  • ¾ cup (145g) margarine, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup (100ml) lukewarm water

For Filling:

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1 cup (200g) sweet potato, cooked and mashed
  • 1 cup (172g) canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 5 Tablespoons green onions, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten

Instructions:

  1. Combine all dry ingredients for the pastry and mix well, slowly add margarine and mix until combined. Begin to mix in egg and combine until slightly wet. If pastry is not wet enough for your liking, pour little amounts of water at a time to moisten up and continue to knead dough. Wrap in clingfilm and place in refrigerator to set (for 30 minutes). Meanwhile place sweet potatoes in pot of water and turn heat to high to allow water to begin to boil. Watch pot to ensure water doesn’t boil over. 

  2. Once thirty minutes have been and gone, check potatoes to see if they are soft, if so drain water and mash in same pot that you made them in with a potato masher. 

  3. Combine sweet potato with cumin and cayenne powder until flavoursome. Then add black beans, green onions, cilantro, chili powder, and salt. Mix well. 

  4. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F)

  5. Remove dough from fridge and take off clingfilm and roll out small balls of dough and then flatten them out with a rolling pin or use your hands (as I do). For each flattened roll of pastry, fill with a teaspoon and a half of filling. Fold closed and fold one edge over the other. Then crimp closed with a fork for a nice design. 

  6. Place on prepared cookie sheet (covered with wax paper) and continue making empanadas, rolling out, filling, folding, crimping, etc. 

  7. Once cookie sheet is filled with empanadas, lightly brush with egg wash and pop into oven to cook. 

  8. Bake at 200°C for 16 minutes or until lightly browned. 

  9. Remove and allow to cool and continue process until all filling and pastry is used. 

  10. Enjoy!

Empanadas for Class

It is a shame, I do not have a photo of what the inside of the empanada looked like, but it did taste quite good.

I’ve made empanadas a few times now and I can say that every time I make them I have much more pastry than I do filling, but this time around it all fit perfectly! I was very impressed.

Anyway, if you are a fan of latin cuisine but find yourself more along the lines of a vegetarian, then this may be the perfect recipe for you! It is delicious, full of vitamins and iron, and just overall good for you! Plus I think they make a fabulous breakfast for when you are on the go.

I hope you all enjoy the recipe and have a wonderful weekend!

Buen provecho!

Indian Pumpkin Heaven

It is meatless Monday again, and another day to enjoy pumpkin. Yay pumpkin!

Today I made a big batch of pumpkin puree and decided freezing it would make for a good idea. At least for the next time I make something which needs puree. I can tell you that this will be soon.  I’m in the mood for pumpkin cookies…

But for now? For now I made a pumpkin curry.

Lots of Pumpkin Curry

You all should know I have a thing for Indian cuisine by now. I mean Trinidadian cuisine is more Indian than Caribbean and I do love a good curry. Delicious.

So here is today’s meal that I got from here:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cup (495g) pumpkin puree
  • 2 cans (800g) canned tomatoes in their juices
  • 2 cups (500ml) vegetable stock
  • ½ cup (125ml) coconut milk
  • 2 cans (448g) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (224g) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 Tablespoons red curry paste
  • 3 Tablespoons agave nectar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot or skillet, heat olive oil and cook onion and garlic on medium heat until soft (approx. 5 minutes)

  2. Add pumpkin, canned tomatoes, vegetable stock, coconut milk, black beans, and chickpeas. Add 1 tablespoon of curry paste and stir well. Season with salt and pepper and add another tablespoon of curry paste (keep in mind that some are spicier than others) add final tablespoon of curry paste if you can handle heat.

  3. Mix well before adding three tablespoons of agave nectar to your curry, this will balance the flavours.

  4. Bring to a boil and make sure all ingredients are mixed well together. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes on a very low simmer.

  5. Serve over rice or quinoa.

 I served mine over the yellow rice I’ve previously made when I first moved here. But it didn’t taste as good as it did that day.

Do you ever have that? Where you make something (just as you did previously) yet it doesn’t taste the same? It makes for difficult times!

Pumpkin Curry and Yellow Rice

I love how it looks colorful, though it is only red, black and white. Like that riddle: What’s black, white, and red all over?

My curry! And a newspaper… the real answer is a newspaper.

Anyway, I hope this interests you as much as it did me and my pumpkin obsession!

अपने भोजन का आनंद लें
Or as they say in English: Enjoy your meal!

‘Tis the Season to Enjoy Pumpkins!

‘Tis the season to enjoy Pumpkins, well at least it is in the Northern Hemisphere. BUT it is October, the month of Jack’o’lanterns, so why can’t it also be the month of everything pumpkin? Well in my household it is! Even my sister who lives in the Netherlands knows that!

Pumpkin this, pumpkin that, pumpkin EVERYTHING!

To start off the season right I made a soup with pumpkin!

Quinoa Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

Although I wasn’t too fond of the soup, when dad came home (from his two weeks in Angola), he went for seconds he loved it that much.

Quinoa Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

I got the recipe from here, but I added more pumpkin and another step to the instructions.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 red chili pepper, diced
  • 4 cups (1kg) pumpkin, cubed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup (185g) quinoa
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 6 cups (720ml) vegetable broth
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Handful cilantro, diced

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat and cook onion for a few minutes. Add garlic and red chili pepper and cook until aromatic.

  2. Add pumpkin and spices and cook for a couple minutes.

  3. Add 2 cups of vegetable broth and quinoa. Bring to a boil and cook for five minutes just before adding the remaining vegetable broth. Bring to a boil.

  4. Add beans and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

  5. Once quinoa is cooked and pumpkin is soft, grab a potato masher and mash pumpkin until soft (leave some chunks of pumpkin whole).

  6. Serve immediately and garnish with cilantro.

Although it is hot in Africa, lately I’ve been rather chilly, so this soup was perfect for dinner to warm my frozen body up.

Also, I’ve been meaning to educate you all on how to cut an onion. Now I know we all know how to cut an onion, but do you know the best way to do so? And the quickest?

One of my best friends taught me while we were in the kitchen. I was taking forever to cut and thankfully she came around and showed me the easiest way. Now I even cut tomatoes like this when I need chopped tomato!

First slice it length-wise
First slice it closest to the chopping board, horizontally
Then slice it higher, still length-wise
Then slice it higher, still horizontally
And again till you're at the top, length-wise
And again till you’re at the top, horizontally 
Then slice it vertically, from left to right (or vice versa)
Then slice it vertically, from left to right (or vice versa)
Continue to slice the onion vertically
Continue to slice the onion vertically
And again
And again
Now begin slicing until it looks like you've cubed your onion
Now begin slicing until it looks like you’ve cubed your onion

Now you should know how to cut an onion just like all the big time chefs of the world (or at least the chefs that taught me). And you have a great pumpkin soup recipe. I am sure this soup will benefit you more than it does me if you are based in the northern hemisphere where it is currently autumn. I know there’s already been severe snowfall in Alberta, Canada during the final months of summer, so it may be a very cold winter.

And a cold winter is best accompanied by a nice hot soup, right?

I hope you all enjoy this recipe!

Colorful Mexican Stuffed Avocado

‘Tis the season to be colorful. The season of Spring is the perfect season to bring out all the colors in your closet or make-up drawers. Or in my case – place on a plate and indulge in!

Although I am always colorful when it comes to food. Whether it is Spring, Summer, Autumn, or Winter, I will always find an excuse to add a pop of color to a normal white plate. Mexican Quinoa stuffed Avocado

This looks pretty festive for the season of Spring, wouldn’t you think?

And not only is this beautiful, but it is delicious too!

Although the recipe is considered as an appetizer, I’ve made this into a meal. Because why would someone combine all this protein for an appetizer? If this is the starter then the meal must be the size of a pea! Anyway, I got the recipe from here.

Ingredients
  • Avocados (1 small avocado per person)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 can black beans (rinsed)
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro + some for garnish
  • 1 Tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon Greek yoghurt
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Start by rinsing your quinoa well and then place it in a sauce pan and toast for about two minutes until the quinoa starts to smell ‘toasty.’ Add one cup of water or vegetable broth and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and cover. (To get fluffy quinoa, it’s really important to not stir it, just let it be, keeping a close eye on it)

  2. Chop the red onion and red pepper and add all the ingredients, minus the quinoa, in a bowl and mix well with the taco seasoning. Once the quinoa is finished and has cooled, add it to the vegetable mixture.

  3. Put the mixture in the refrigerator to cool.

  4. To assemble the avocados, begin by cutting them in half, removing the skin and the pit. (You can also scoop a little extra from the pit to add more room for the quinoa mixture – do this after you peel the skin off!)

  5. Scoop about ½ a cup of the quinoa mixture into each avocado, more if you can fit it.

  6. Finish by mixing Greek yoghurt and lemon juice together and adding a little dollop on top of the quinoa mixture and some chopped cilantro and serve.

  7. Enjoy!

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed AvocadoDoesn’t that look too much to be for an appetizer? Especially with the fact that black beans, quinoa, AND avocado have protein in it. Not to mention the fact that Greek yoghurt has protein too! Although, a dollop or two doesn’t give you quite the kick needed.

So that’s my dinner for this evening.

But, because I only used a tablespoon of taco seasoning there is a big chance that I’ll make taco’s tomorrow for dinner. I just need to buy lettuce, salsa, and wraps. I’ve got everything else to make a perfect taco or six. (When I was younger, I loved tacos so much that I would have between four to six – no lie) I don’t think I can accomplish that now though.

Y’all should totally make this. You could make it as it should be, an appetizer. OR you can eat it as I did as a meal.

Buen provecho, gente!

Vegetarian Lentil and Quinoa Chili

It is officially winter time! Today is the twenty-first of December, the first day of the winter solstice… however if you live below the equator it is the first day of the summer solstice! In Buenos Aires it has been between 32-40ᵒC (90-104ᵒF) so far, while in New York it has been mostly cold at between -9-1ᵒC (16-34ᵒF). Although, oddly enough it is currently 15ᵒC (59ᵒF)! It seriously fluctuates over there. While if you are up here in Europe (at least on the coast), we have yet to experience both snow and negatives. Which of course usually go hand in hand.

But to begin the winter season, I thought to make a nice vegetarian chili.

Vegetarian Chili

Daddy came home the other day from Angola and when that happens I need to kind of cut my type of cooking to a bit of a minimum. He loves food with a kick, but it is more standard than my style. So I thought of making my chili because to me this tastes like the beef chili mom used to make when I was a meat eater some three years ago.

This is a super hearty meal that hits all the right spots, keeps you warm, while makes you hot from enough spicy flavouring. Honestly truly delicious. The recipe I followed can be seen below:

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups chicken stock or 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • Avocado, if desired (to garnish)

Directions:

1.  Heat olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add garlic and cook for a minute or until fragrant and slightly golden.

2.  Add onion and pepper and cook for a few minutes or until onion is translucent.

3.  Add in tomatoes, cumin, chili, cinnamon, curry powder, and pepper; bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 6-8 minutes or until tomatoes begin to break down.

4.  Add broth, quinoa, and lentils, and bring back to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until lentils are tender and quinoa has expanded.

5.  Stir in black beans, kidney beans, salt and cilantro. Chili will continue to thicken.

6. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Simmer a few more minutes.

This recipe can be found here. If you go to that link you will see the first time I made this chili. I am so happy that they used my photo as their cover photo. Makes me almost feel like a real chef.

And yes, I know it looks like a lot of ingredients, but it is a quick make. Takes just an hour and ten minutes if made properly. The first time I made this recipe I used canned lentils, which obviously makes things go a lot quicker, while this time I allowed the tomato, lentil, and quinoa mixture to simmer on a higher heat than usual. This allowed everything to cook for 20 minutes. So depending on the elements you use, you can shorten your cooking time.

Regardless of how you make it, it is a delicious meal!

Flashless Photo

You know, the reason behind my making of it is rather cheeky. The reason for that is that Daddy is not a fan of quinoa. I am not quite sure why, but it is the truth. I thought that making a chili with lentils, beans, and the almost secret ingredient of quinoa would be perfect. I mean who honestly needs meat when you’ve got those three protein packed foods? And you know what? He loved it!

So for his first homemade meal back home I think this was a proper hit!

I really hope that you all try making this chili once. It could quite possibly be my favourite.

¡Que aproveche!