Quinoa with Black Beans and Cilantro

I found this recipe on epicurious.com and the first time I made it I followed the directions as written. (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Quinoa-with-Black-Beans-and-Cilantro-243392)

As usual over time it has morphed into a more personal recipe. I thought I would share it. My directions won’t be as exact as most recipes but hey it’s just cooking.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 chicken breast (boneless, skinless, chopped into bite size pieces) Optional

2 cups chopped onions (I use yellow)

1 cup chopped red bell pepper ( I don’t measure I usually just use half of a red pepper and half of a green pepper)

1 cup quinoa, *rinsed and drained (I buy it in bulk)

2 (more if you add chicken) teaspoons of chili powder (I add extra to season the chicken then add the 2 teaspoons when called for)

½ teaspoon (more like ¾ if you add the chicken)

crushed red pepper flakes (I add about ½ teaspoon, it just needs a little heat)

½ teaspoon salt

1 can of chicken broth (14.5 oz)

1 can of black beans (15 oz)

½ cup of chopped fresh cilantro, divided

Preparation:

Heat oil in large skillet. Add seasoned chopped chicken breast. Sauté until chicken has some color, remove. Add onion and pepper and sauté until they begin to soften. Add chicken back to pan then add the spices and quinoa. Add chicken broth, heat to boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add beans and ½ the cilantro. Cook uncovered until the liquid is absorbed and the beans are heated. Throw it on a plate and garnish with some of the cilantro that you have left. Enjoy.

*Rinsing quinoa. Quinoa is fine so you will need a wire mesh or sift type strainer. Soak quinoa in water for 1 minute then rinse (repeat 5 times).

Quinoa is considered a super food for it’s nutritional value. Quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source.

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