Sunday, September 11, 2011

Slow down!

      I can't believe the little guy is almost two years old!  Come December, the big guy turns ten (!!), and little momma turned eight back in June.  How did this happen?  They are growing up way too fast.
     It's been fun for all having a baby in the house.  Antonio and Martina have been amused and amazed at the developmental stages that Kieran has gone through, and Ken and I have had a wonderful time re-living them.
     This poor little blog has been badly neglected the past few months.  I've been a bit busy with the older kids back in school and enrolled in soccer.  Martina's Brownie troop starts meeting again this month as well.  Plus, I've been blogging at Little Ms. Sew-Unsew, where I discuss my sewing, quilting and knitting projects.
     It will be a challenge to have fresh homemade dinners every evening with soccer practices twice a week for both older kids, but luckily I have a few dishes which are quick to make with a little pre-planning.  The quinoa recipe below is a family favorite.  It was inspired by Weight Watchers' Santa Fe Rice frozen dinner.  [Note:  I grill the chicken, cook the black beans, and roast the corn in advance so all I have to do is throw everything together right before dinner.]

Mexican Style Quinoa

1 cup black beans
salt (optional)

1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
salt, to taste

1 grilled chicken breast, cubed
roasted corn kernels
diced red onion
diced tomatoes
grated cheddar
1/2 avocado, sliced thin
plain yogurt

Soak the black beans in a pot for 6-8 hours, then drain and rinse with water.  Add water until the water line is 2 inches above the beans.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.  Salt the beans towards the end of the simmering process.  Drain, then set aside.

Soak the quinoa in a bowl for 15 minutes, then rinse with fresh water a couple of times (this is to release and wash away the saponin, which can give the quinoa a bitter taste if not removed).  Drain and place in a pot with 1.5 cups of fresh water and salt.  Bring to a boil, then cover and turn down the heat to simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, let sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

To serve:  Spoon some quinoa on a plate and add chicken, red onion, black beans, tomatoes, cheese, corn and avocado.  Top with yogurt (or sour cream if desired).

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