Corn, Black Bean, and Lime Quinoa

I made this recipe for dinner last night and it left my boyfriend speechless. Speechless! We were both pleasantly surprised that it was so delicious while still being so healthy. If you haven’t tried quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) before, then it’s about time you started. It’s become really popular in Santa Monica over the past few years. This “supergrain” is an amazing source of protein and fiber and provides many important vitamins and minerals. You’re welcome body!

This recipe is really simple since it uses a pre-made taco mix you can buy at the store, and the quinoa is simple and fast to make as well. The other ingredients mostly just get thrown in at the end! I made this in a quick 30 minutes.

Anyway, I chose to make my portion with shrimp and since Matt doesn’t like shrimp, I made his with chicken. Pick whatever extra meat/protein you like or just leave it out all together; the quinoa and beans provide a good amount of protein if you’re vegan or just trying to watch your meat intake. I would still suggest adding some tofu or other source of protein though since it’s import to get enough protein every day.

Interesting facts about quinoa: Did you know that quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat? It is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids, unlike most other grains. Quinoa is also high in Riboflavin (B2). B2 improves energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells and is known to help create proper energy production in cells. Read more of quinoa’s benefits here.

Corn Black Bean Cilantro Quinoa

The finished product with chicken

Here’s what you’ll need: 

For the quinoa:

♦1 1/2 cup quinoa

♦3 cups water

♦2 tsp of olive oil

♦2 tsp of a low sodium taco seasoning mix

approx. 4 servings (1 cup/serving) at 260 calories/serving, 39g carbs, 6.5g fat, 8g protein, 5g fiber

Corn, Black Bean, Lime Quinoa

The quinoa cooking away

For the mix-ins:

♦any protein you want

♦2 tbs low sodium taco seasoning mix

♦1/3 cup water

♦2 large cloves of garlic finely chopped

♦1 cup black beans

♦1 cup corn (I use frozen corn)

♦1/2 cup chopped cilantro (I love cilantro so I pile it on! It’s rich in Vitamin K and antioxidants too)

♦about 2 tbs fresh lime juice to taste

approx. 4 servings at 94 cal/serving, 17.5g carbs, .5g fat, 4.6g protein, 5g fiber  (without added protein)

Total nutrition: 354 cal/serving, 56.5g carbs, 7g fat, 12.6g protein, 10g fiber

Corn, Black Bean, Lime Quinoa with Chicken

Cooking the chicken with corn and black beans

What You’ll Do:

Quinoa: Rinse the quinoa before cooking. Then add quinoa to a pot with the olive oil and toast for a minute. Add the water and bring to a boil. Add the taco seasoning mix and stir. Cover and reduce to a simmer (at the lowest heat possible) and cook for another 15 minutes or so. Take the pot off the burner and let it stand for 5 minutes covered. Divide into 1 cup portions to serve.

Mix-ins: Throw the taco seasoning, garlic, and water in a pan and heat up. Add your protein and stir until halfway cooked. Add the corn and black beans and continue cooking until your protein is cooked through.

Combine the mix-ins with the quinoa and add cilantro and lime to taste. Then enjoy this yummy taco-inspired meal!

Corn, Black Bean, Lime Quinoa with Shrimp

The finished meal!

Corn, Black Bean, Lime Quinoa with Shrimp

Corn, Black Bean, Lime Quinoa with Shrimp


♥Santa Monica Life♥


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