Healthier Cooking: Quinoa with Black Beans and Sole

25 03 2009

Yeah, it’s March. Shouldn’t I be talking about healthier eating in January? Well, I’ve been trying hard to keep up with some leaner meats and even a couple of meatless meals every week. So far, I’ve done okay. My problem is that I really dislike whole grains. I don’t like brown rice, it’s too crunchy and watery tasting. In general, I’ll reject whole grains unless I’m trying reeeeeeeeeeally hard to be good. This meal certainly helps, it is extremely tasty and very healthy!

Quinoa is a whole grain that is similar to brown rice in texture. But the flavor is far more robust and nuttier, in my opinion. It contains a high amount of protein, fiber, and essential amino acids among many other tidbits of goodness.

Every time I’ve made it, I’ve ended up with a different version, and each one is just as tasty! I can pull this whole meal together in about 30 minutes if I’m prepared and work quickly. It’s more comfortable in about 45 minutes at a leisurely pace. This recipe is mine and obviously not as professionally put together as a real recipe, but its in the order I do it to make it speedier.

1 cup quinoa (see notes)
2 cups chicken broth
1 can black beans
2 tomatoes
1/2 bunch asparagus
1 bunch of rainbow chard
1 lb white flaky fish (see notes)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced, separated
black pepper
2 lemons, halved
olive oil

1) Mince the garlic, wash and cut the chard and get your spices out and ready for use
2) Rinse one cup of quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) under cold water
2) Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large, flat skillet over medium heat
3) Then go prepare the fish by laying it out on a cutting board and sprinkle with salt, freshly cracked black pepper, cumin, and paprika (I’m liberal with the spices to go for a bit of a blackened effect on the fish). Set fish aside, you can leave it out for this short window of time.
4) Oil should be hot in the pan. Toss in one of the minced cloves of garlic. Let it sizzle for a bit in the pan until it is fragrant.
5) Toss in the quinoa and let it toast, stirring occasionally.
6) Heat another 1 Tbsp of olive oil in another large skillet for the fish.
7) Pour rinsed black beans into small sauce pot with the juice of one lemon half, some cumin, salt, and pepper. Top with tomatoes and bite sized asparagus spears. Let sit on stove on medium heat until heated all the way through.
8 ) Pour 2 cups of broth over the quinoa once it is golden in color. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
9) Place fish in hot oil and let sit. You will cook each side 4-5 minutes, depending on the fish (in this case, I used Dover Sole). Sprinkle lemon juice over filets while they are cooking.
10) Once the fish is done, toss the chard in that pan and let it wilt (will take 2-5 minutes). Sprinkle with lemon.


all a bubblin on the stove!

Time for plating! I always pour the quinoa into a big dish, put the chard next to it, place the fish fillets on top and then spoon on the black bean mixture.


quinoa with black beans, rainbow chard and sole

Notes: I have used Ling Cod, Dover Sole, and Halibut. My favorite for this dish is Dover Sole. I’ve also made it without the chard or asparagus. Just black bean and tomato is really, really good. I just had some veggies hitting the end of their life so they get thrown in. Also, I’ve been using the organic quinoa from Costco and have found it takes a little longer to cook than I usually like. It also just has a different taste. I prefer the brand from my grocery’s bulk bin, whatever that is.

Enjoy! It’s a delicious and extremely healthy meal!!




7 responses

25 03 2009

I like it when you don’t work so hard… we get to see what you are up to.

That dish looks vaguely familiar… and I know it is wonderful. I am not sure what chard is… spinach or cabbage like stuff?

We will make this dish soon. We already have two varieties of Quinoa… bought it at abc… 🙂

25 03 2009

Chard is a bitter green – kind of like collard greens, but not as bitter and a little tougher. It’s very good for you too 🙂 There was no chard or asparagus in the version I made you guys – just tomato & black bean I think.

Sadly, as of today, working long hours is coming back for the next several months. Good to be busy though! Love you popop, can’t wait to hear about your quinoa meal!

25 03 2009

You are definitely an amazing and venturous cook. Don’t know where that came from as you grew up on tacos and spaghetti.

26 03 2009

YAYAYYAYAYAAY! i am so glad you posted this meal! i made quinoa for billy and i and it just wasnt as good without all the tomato-black beany stuff on it. 🙂 i can’t wait to make it too.
mom, i love tacos and spaghetti.

26 03 2009

why did my comment just come out as billy suess? guess this computer is logged in as him…….THIS IS MELISSA. not billy. sorry billy.

26 03 2009
Aunt Sue

You ARE an amazing cook, Kim!!! I love reading about your creative recipes/looking forward to trying some…can’t today, we’re snowed in (schools closed/city offices closed/DIA open, but a LOT of flights cancelled) so I’m NOT going anywhere—suppose to get 10-18 inches of snow by tomorrow am in my area!!

27 03 2009

Looks good but gosh the Ch. chip cookies pictue had to be the best.

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