Spicy Black Beans and Quinoa
1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups water
2 slices applewood smoked bacon, chopped
1 bell pepper, finely chopped (I used a combination of red, yellow and green pieces)
1/2 large yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon oregano (I use Mexican)
1/2 tablespoon chile powder (I use New Mexican)
1/2 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 cup chunky salsa (I use Pace hot; use mild if you prefer)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Combine the quinoa and water in a small pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa can be fluffed with a fork.
Heat a deep 10-inch skillet over medium. Add the chopped bacon and saute until browned and cooked through.
Add the bell pepper, onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, chile powder and salt and cook until vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the salsa and black beans. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. If it starts to cook off too much or you’d like it saucier, add a quarter cup of water to the mix.
Add the lime juice and cilantro and stir to combine. Serve over the cooked quinoa.
This is the base recipe and is great as is. I also make all of these delicious variations:
1. Make it vegan by deleting the bacon and using a teaspoon or two of olive oil to get things started instead.
2. Accompany with chunks of pork shoulder (1.5 lb), seasoned with the same dried spices and salt, seared-then-braised in a large skillet:
3. Accompany with chunks of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (1.5 lb), seasoned with the same dried spices and salt, sauteed until cooked through:
4. Accompany with Homemade Chorizo (1.5 lb) sauteed until moisture has cooked out: