Quinoa and Black Beans

Quinoa seedsQuinoa (pronounced “KEEN-wah”) has gained recognition and popularity as a gluten-free grain alternative and valuable vegetarian source of protein. As a breakfast, side dish, salad, or dessert, quinoa is a versatile ingredient that can be used in various cuisines.

Quinoa is rich in B vitamins like other grains, but it’s actually an edible seed and a relative to spinach, beets and Swiss chard. Quinoa is unique in that it contains all nine essential amino acids making it a complete (whole) protein. This protein-dense food originated in the Andes Mountains of South America and was a sacred staple in the diet of the ancient Incan culture.

If you’ve never tried quinoa before, here’s a great recipe to try for your first experience!   This dish travels well and can be eaten hot or cold. Enjoy it as a side or wrap it in a warm tortilla with avocado and shredded raw cabbage or lettuce for a satisfying meal. Continue reading “Quinoa and Black Beans”

Cowboy Caviar

black beans spicyHere’s a no-cook California spin on tangy Texas black bean dip.  It’s rich in texture and flavor and has lots of kick!  Scoop it up with baked tortilla chips or veggies as a snack/appetizer, enjoy it as a spicy salsa over salad, tacos, grilled fish and chicken, or dish it out as a hearty side.

It’s made from a spicy base of cholesterol-free protein and fiber (black beans) and vitamin E-rich avocados. This recipe yields a lot and tastes better the longer it sits, but you’ll find it disappears fast!   Continue reading “Cowboy Caviar”