Friday, July 29, 2011


I'm having one of those down days.  Not down as in sad, down as in, winding down from 2 weeks of swimming lessons.  I'm getting absolutely nothing accomplished, and that is totally okay with me.  I just finished five levels of swimming lessons, after all.   

What better thing to do to wind down than to make myself a nutritious cup of coffee (98% water, so it's healthy) and blog about making dinner.

It's almost like making dinner, only fewer calories.  I might lose another 10 pounds if I devoted more time to blogging and less to eating.  There's a thought.

When I don't feel like cooking, and/or have spent the "eating out budget" for the month, and/or I just want to say quinoa (pronounced:  keen-wah)multiple times in one evening, this is my go-to meal.  It's all hipster and everything (which I am not,  but I like to think if I was 10 years younger I would be) because it has quinoa  and ALL of my kids love it - even Tyson, who often appears to prefer air over anything served to him.

As long as you have black beans, corn and quinoa, you're good to go; any other vegetables you want to add just add flavour and colour!  I'm sure Jamie Oliver would be proud.  It takes only a few minutes of actual prep and after 20 minutes of watching quinoa cook - dinner is served. 

Plus, Quinoa is really fun to say.  Try it.

keen-wah.  KEEN-wah.  keen-WAH.

You can also say it like you are going to do a karate chop:  Keeeeeeeeen-WAH!

Keen-wah, keen-wah, keen-wah.

How can you say no to this fantastic sounding dish?  Notice I have avoided using fantastic-looking because, alas and alack,  I am not a food artist, and let's just say it - it doesn't look like much.

But did I mention it's perfect for a Meatless Monday?  Because it is. Perfect.  And Meatless. Who knew both things were possible? 

Did I also point out that I was feeling rambly today?

I make meatless dishes fairly frequently now.  I truly wasn't aware it was an option when, as a newly minted wife, I  first started cooking for Josh and I.  True, I was only 18 and my vast cooking repertoire included following recipes by Jean Pare, spaghetti sauce, chili, shake'n bake chicken and chocolate chip cookies,  but still.  I remember Josh suggesting we make a margherita pizza when we first were married and I looked at him like he had been sniffing glue. Seriously?  Next thing you know he'll be telling me we should recycle.  

Pshtt. Whatever.

In our house, growing up, we always had meat for dinner.  My Mom is the Queen of Roasts, and  the Conqueror of Comfort Foods. We grew up very well fed and there was always, always, meat and lots of it.  I was going to say we occasionally had pancakes for supper, but even then, I am positive there was always bacon.

Mmmm, bacon.  Is there anything it can't do?

I promise the next food-post will include bacon.

For now, enjoy the hipster Quinoa Dish.  Recycle the cans when you are done - it's for the enviyerment and everything.

Prep Time : 15 min
Dinner served in:  40 minutes
Serves:  4 if main, 8-10 if side dish
* large frying pan with lid will be useful
1 lug vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 c. Broth – I usually use chicken
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp. chilli powder
s & p to taste
1 large can (19 0z.) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 ½ c frozen corn
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, OR 2 Tbsp dried
Whatever other sauté worthy veg you have on hand,– sauté with onions in step one, or do separately and add to mixture at the end.  Seriously it’s that flexible.
·         Pre-heat frying pan, add oil and heat on medium heat, add onion and sauté till soft.  Add garlic and sauté till fragrant. 
·         Add quinoa to pan and sauté for a couple minutes longer then add broth and seasoning EXCEPT cilantro. 
·         Bring mixture to a boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally.  Once boiling, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed into this most miraculous ancient grain.
·         Remove from heat, add frozen corn and black beans, and cilantro.
·         Heat through and serve!

BTW – this fabulous meal is also great the next day in a tortilla wrap, or eaten cold atop a salad – or even straight out of the Tupperware container...not that I have ever done that.  Ever.
You can eat it here or there,
You can eat it anywhere!

*you can click on the title of the recipe to get a .pdf format if you prefer!


  1. yes, yes it is... hope it turns out for you! Don't be afraid to adjust the seasonings if you like more kick!

  2. I love your blog Karina...thanks for all your great comments...wish I had your email to tell you more.

  3. Hi Marnie,
    Try finding me on facebook! Glad you like the blog :)


I love it when you leave comments, they make my day!

If you're not sure which option to use, just click on the "Name/URL" option - put in your name, leave the URL blank, and comment away!