Southwest Skillet Quinoa (Rice) and Beans with Tomato-Mint Salsa
For a gluten free, vegan, quick, and healthy one pot weekday dinner!
A great skillet to make for weekday dinner that is packed with ton of flavor from chipotle, beans, sweet corn, spices, hearty and healthy quinoa, topped with quick and juicy mint-tomatoes and lime salsa. Does this sound like a scrumptious weekday dinner or what?
To me, it's even great for yummy, filling, and mouthwatering lunch!
The key ingredient in this Quinoa Skillet is Chipotle in Adobo. One of my favorite Mexican chili. I can't imagine cooking Mexican or Southwest inspired food without it. You know my love for, my darling herb, oregano! Chipotle has surpassed that! The smoky taste of chipotle adds so much flavor to a dish that you don't really need a lot of other flavor-boosting ingredients!
In this skillet, a little heat of chipotle brings together flavor of hearty beans, quinoa, sweet corn, and fresh tomato salsa. Not just looks, it sounds scrumptious too!! Mexican cuisine is not JUST my favorite for nothing!
A perfect "bean and rice skillet dinner" calls for flavor packed in one skillet, with nutrition and health, to keep family healthy and happy. And this skillet has all these qualities.
1. The base quinoa is healthy grain. It is full of potassium and fiber and is also gluten free.
2. There is hearty serving of beans and corn for a filling dinner which means no mid-night cravings.
3. Zippy mint and tomato salsa adds a punch of fresh flavor and makes you keep going back for another bite.
4. Above all, this whole skillet is ready in just 25 minutes and is VEGAN!
This recipe is inspired from famous, Southwest Skillet Beans and Rice, dinner. To make even healthier, I decided to use quinoa instead of rice.
I clearly remember, my first introduction to quinoa was in an Office Potluck. One of my colleague brought "quinoa salad" and I could not resist asking - what is this grain? She told me about quinoa and also told me that it is actually not a grain but a seed which has ton of health benefits. Quinoa is packed with potassium and is slightly less in carbs than rice. Also has lots of gut-friendly fiber. Impressed with taste and health-promise that comes with it..... I came home and told Vishal about quinoa and asked, will he eat quinoa? You know, we were recently married back then and I wasn't experienced enough to know that asking hubby (at least, Vishal) about a healthy food choice is wrong... is bad manner... yields no good outcome ;) ;)
Hence, I'm sure you guessed it! He said: anhhh... umhhh... I don't think we need to replace rice with quinoa. We already boil and drain excess water from rice to make'em lite and less starchy.
Yes! We do boil and drain excess water from our everyday rice to get rid of excess starch. (so sorry all culinary gurus!) But, I was not talking about, not eating rice no more. I just wanted him to try quinoa :) So, I dropped the idea.... and learned a lesson.
After a few months, I spotted quinoa in Costco and bought a pack home (simply sneaked it into the shopping cart ;)). I cooked quinoa and amazingly, he liked it! Ever since.... I have never stopped using it in salads, skillets, soups... you name it! Costco pack was anyways really big enough to fuel my inital creativity.
Lesson learned? I often don't tell Vishal about new healthy things I'm planning to cook. Instead, just cook and serve! From quinoa, zucchini dishes, avocado soups...... to oats, I present everything to him cooked rather than raw in my idea. works every time (well... almost every time)
However, these days, we both love quinoa. In-fact, there are few quinoa dishes (including this zippy skillet) which he specially asks for dinner/lunch.
Often, I soak dried beans overnight and pressure cook'em for this quinoa and beans skillet. Indian-style Bean and Rice (called Rajma Chawal) are very common in my home. With help of pressure cooker, most pre-soaked beans from kidney-beans to Chickpeas, can be cooked under 10 minutes. So, I never find it bothersome to make this skillet for lunch or dinner using beans from scratch. In this recipe, however, I have mentioned to use canned beans. If you have time to cook, I would say, home cooked fresh beans taste much better than canned version. If in hurry, canned beans will work fine. Just remember to rinse canned beans before using.
These days, this quinoa and beans skillet has made it's place up-the-chart in my weekday menu. Since sun shines little too bright, here, in California! So, easy, healthy, and quick skillets are my favorite for weekday dinner. You know, less standing in feeling-like-oven-kitchen and yet healthy dinner in no-time! Specially, days when we don't eat meat, this one is our favorite!
I'm sure you will enjoy it as much we do!
These Quinoa or Rice Bowls are my favorite these days!
Southwest Skillet Quinoa (Rice) and Beans with Tomato-Mint Salsa
- Skillet Quinoa (Rice) and Beans
- 1 Black Beans (15 Ounce Can, rinsed)
- 1 tbsp Chipotle in Adobo (minced)
- 3/4 Cup Quinoa (rinsed under cold water)
- Salt (as per taste)
- 1 Cup Corn (frozen, rinsed under water)
- 1.5 Cup Water (or low-sodium vegetable broth)
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil (preferably, extra virgin, divided)
- 1/2 Cup Shallot Onions (2 small shallots or 1/2 red onion, small diced)
- 3 Garlic (cloves, minced)
- 1 tsp Cumin Powder
- 1 tsp Coriander Powder
- 1/2 tsp Oregano (dried leaves)
- Mint and Tomato Salsa
- 1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes (or grape tomatoes, halved)
- Salt and Black Pepper (as per taste)
- 3 Green Onion (scallion, thin sliced)
- 4 tbsp Mint (julienne, sliced in thin strips)
- 1 tbsp Lime (juice)
- Jalapeno (thin sliced, optional)
- Cilantro (fresh leaves, chopped)
- Avocado (chopped, optional)
1. Mint and Tomato Salsa - In a small bowl, add mint, sliced cherry tomatoes, 1 tbsp olive oil, lime juice, scallion and mix well. Add a generous pinch of salt and black pepper and set aside.2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wide skillet. Add diced shallot (or red onion if using) with garlic and saute until onion are soft (3-4 minutes).
3. Add all dried spices along with minced chipotle in adobo. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.4. Now add, rinsed beans, rinsed frozen corn, rinsed quinoa with 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
5. Combine everything, then add 1.5 cups of water. Bring to rolling boil and then cover and cook on medium heat until all water has been absorbed and quinoa is tender (about 12 minutes).6. Once cooked, fluff the quinoa with fork. Cover and set aside for 5 minutes.
- 7. Before serving, top the quinoa with mint-tomato salsa along with any juices remaining in the salsa bowl. Garnish with sliced jalapeno, avocado, scallions, and cilantro (if you prefer). Serve family-style and enjoy!
Chipotle in adobo is a spicy Mexican chili in sauce and has good spice in it. I highly recommend starting with less and then, adding more if need be.
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