Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mexican Quinoa

I used to be a quinoa skeptic.

I thought quinoa was a bland excuse for a rice substitute. Sure it was packed with nutrients, but I just couldn't get over the taste.

That was until I had Suzie's quinoa. It was full of complex flavor, worthy of substituting for rice. I had to know her secret.

She used the same method to prepare quinoa as she did risotto. Toasting the grains, adding sautéed onions, replacing water with chicken stock all add layers to the flavor.

That was the beginning of my quinoa journey.

I started trying more and more quinoa recipes, and actually enjoyed them. The real turning point, however, was the discovery of Mexican quinoa.

It's basically a meatless, healthy burrito bowl. And I love it! It's also super easy and quick to prepare, and it keeps well for leftovers.

1 cup quinoa
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chicken broth
3 tbsp taco seasoning
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
Shredded cheese
Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
1-2 avocados cubed

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Saute the the onions for 2-3 minutes until soft then add the garlic and saute a few more minutes until fragrant. Add the quinoa and toast in the oil until all the oil is absorbed and you can smell the nuttiness of the quinoa, about 3 min.

Pour in the chicken stock, rotel tomatoes, beans and taco seasoning and store to combine. Bring the contents to a boil. Reduces heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 min, or until the liquid is fully absorbed.

Serve in a bowl and top with shredded cheese, avocados, sour cream/Greek yogurt and salsa.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My Return to Blogging

It's been a little over one year since my last post.

I didn't intend to go a year between postings. I certainly didn't intend to take a hiatus from blogging. But while I wasn't looking, that's what happened.

The last year has been a whirlwind. We added a puppy, a new job, and new responsibilities. It's been a great year, but a busy year.

When 2012 ended I thought that once the crazy of the holidays passed I would be all ready to get back in the blogging swing. I had no idea that the holiday crazy was nothing compared to what early 2013 would have in store.

In January, Robert started a new job in Austin, even though my work kept me in Dallas. How did we manage that? Well, for 6 months Robert woke up and hit the road at 6:30am every Monday morning, not to return until late on Friday evening. Being apart during the work week was hard, but he was having the time of his life. On the weekends, with Robert finally home, blogging about culinary adventures was far from my mind.

Meanwhile, back in Dallas, I was quickly learning that a new puppy is a lot more like a new baby than I ever imagined. Late night wails, frequent feedings, and complete dependence on me took up a lot of my time. I loved it, but Asta  kept me from blogging too.

In June, Robert transitioned back to Dallas, and I thought for sure my return to blogging was just around the corner. It turns out, it's really hard to get back in the swing of things. Not only was I not blogging in the six months Robert was in Austin, but I wasn't really cooking either.

I'm still trying to get back in the habit of cooking regularly. But I thought it was time to return to blogging. In the end, a quote from a fitness blog was what prompted my return. The quote read, "Because waiting for January 1 is so 2012."

It may be a while before my posting is back up to my 2011 standards, but I'm ready to start working at it again.