Part of my homesteading journey is learning to cook with ingredients that I have never used before, particularly whole grains. I grew up baking with bleached, enriched, all-purpose flour (and if I’m completely honest, I still use it at times…remember, this is a journey!). The grains we ate at most meals included processed flour (via pasta, baking mixes, etc) or white rice. But I’ve made a conscious effort over the last couple of years to incorporate more and more whole grains into our diet. The benefit is that we get a much higher nutrient content from what we eat (and I get to experiment with cooking new things!).
Here is a recipe that I created and instantly fell in love with when I was first trying to cook with quinoa, an extremely good-for-you, nutty-tasting, whole grain. (Which, if you haven’t tried yet, please do yourself a favor and make some quinoa tonight…it’s delicious!). Quinoa is packed with protein and a lot of other good stuff, like manganese, folate, phosphorus and magnesium. Unfortunately, around here it’s a treat, as it can be a little on the pricey side. But it is well worth it for the nutrition value and we enjoy it immensely when we do have it!
Quinoa with Black Beans and Shrimp
2 Tbsp oil
1 C uncooked quinoa
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 – 8oz can tomato sauce
2 ½ C water
1 tsp chili powder
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp cumin
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
Large handful of pre-cooked shrimp, thawed (as you can tell, I don’t always measure the greatest :) Just put as much as you want in there.).
Heat oil in large saucepan over med-high heat. Stir in quinoa, onion, garlic and green pepper. Cook and stir 5-10 minutes, until onion is tender and quinoa is slightly toasted. Stir in tomato sauce, water and seasonings. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low, cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed (about 30 minutes). Add in black beans and shrimp and cook until just heated through.
If you really want a treat, wrap this mixture up in a whole-wheat tortilla, sprinkle a little cheddar cheese on top, and pop under the broiler for a few minutes until cheese is melted. Burritos! Yum!!!