One Pot Mexican Quinoa


It's not easy to commit to a gluten-free diet, especially for those of you who have a busy lifestyle. But this particular recipe of Quinoa is going to be a surefire winner (even for the busy bee's), as it ensures a fast and easy clean up. I know many of you don't like venturing into the kitchen due to the stress of clean up and washing dishes. Trust me, no one likes to stare at a pile of dishes when you've have had a hectic day at work or even if you're a stay-at-home-mom, at the end of the day you are left with zero stamina.

I've been making several one-pot pasta dishes for the kids off late and this little idea just popped up, why not just try the same with Quinoa? Personally I like my Quinoa dishes to be spicy and flavoursome and this particular one was inspired by the Tex Mex Fried Rice at our favourite Mexican restaurant. I knew the combination would work out well with Quinoa too, despite it's very obvious nutty flavor. This recipe serves 2-3 people, you can easily double the quantity if you have guests over. Do give it a try and don't forget to tag #saffronbowl in social media with your creation.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil

  • 2 cloves garlic minced

  • 1 tsp crushed red chilli flakes

  • 1 cup Quinoa

  • 1 small red onion diced

  • 1/2 cup sweet corn (frozen or fresh)

  • 1/2 cup diced bell peppers

  • 1/2 cup cooked black beans

  • 1 medium tomato roughly chopped

  • 2 tbsp tomato paste

  • 2 tsp Himalayan Salt

  • 2 cups broth or water

  • Juice of half a lemon

Toppings

  • 1 cubed ripe Avocado

  • 1 handful finely chopped cilantro

  • 1/2 cup grated cheese (optional)

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped onion

Firstly you need to wash the Quinoa in plenty of water, use a fine mesh sieve while washing Quinoa as the grains are so small and tiny that you may end up losing a lot without a fine sieve. Strain this and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, crushed chilli flakes and the diced onions , stir to ensure the garlic doesn't burn, you can add a bit of salt at this point. Now add the tomato paste and stir it along with the other ingredients until the raw smell goes. In goes the sweet corn, bell peppers, black beans, chopped tomato, Quinoa, broth/water and salt (if your broth is already salted, skip adding salt and adjust this towards the end). Mix all of the ingredients well with the liquid and let this come to a boil, after which you turn the flame to low, cover and this needs to gently simmer for a good 20 – 25 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed and the Quinoa is cooked through. Remove lid and add the lemon juice and gently mix all of the ingredients well, this is also a good time to check on the seasonings, so if you like it more spicy, feel free to add some fresh cracked black pepper. Turn off the flame and it's ready to be plated.

The toppings for this dish are the fun part, as it enhances the Tex Mex flavour with the Avocado cubes, chopped onion, cilantro, the grated cheese and more lemon juice if you like it tangy.

Tip- Other optional toppers are sliced black olives and sour cream, it definitely adds on to the taste. Vegans can also try the variety of dairy free creams and cheese options in this recipe. In case you don't have Quinoa, try the same recipe with some pre-cooked brown rice or fox tail millet to keep it gluten-free.