Baked Beans Style Quinoa
When you manage to come up with a quinoa-hating-hubby-approved recipe for a week night meal that's so delicious you need to make it three times in the same week just to be able to snap a few pics of it for your blog and it only requires a few pantry staples... you know you've got a keeper!
This recipe was a happy accident.
Months ago, I was quite exhausted one evening after a whole day of work and I needed something warm, comforting, healthy and that wouldn't take hours to prep. There wasn't much left in the fridge, and not even a can of beans for a quick chili... There was, however, a can of chopped tomatoes and that red lentil quinoa mix I had bought at 50% off a couple of weeks before because it was going out of date.
Without thinking much of it, I chopped an onion and some garlic and threw everything together.
And I don't know if you've ever tried adding tamari to your tomato-based dishes before, but I find that it really brings up all the flavours and adds a certain depth that I really enjoy.
The choice of spices probably came from my need for something sweet and cozy that night, but it turned out to be quite an inspired one!
Next thing I know, my Sweetie comes along and says "Smells nice, can I try it?". To which I immediately replied "you won't like it, it's quinoa, but it tastes like baked beans to me!".
And then he grabbed a plate and helped himself to more.
Moral of the story: if you hate something, maybe you actually don't! That's why I love trying so many different combinations of ingredients and cooking styles.
So even if you're not a fan of quinoa, give this one a try and thank me later 🙂
Baked Beans Style Quinoa
1 medium-sized onion - finely diced (I used red)
1 garlic clove - finely diced or crushed
1 teaspoon of olive oil (or water if you cook oil-free)
3/4 cup of quinoa
1/4 cup of red lentils
1 can of chopped tomatoes + 1 can worth of water
3 tablespoons of tamari
1 teaspoon of gingerbread spice mix (mine includes cinnamon, star anise, fennel seeds, cardamom, clove and ginger)
1 teaspoon of black-strap molasses
In a large pot, heat up the oil or water
Meanwhile, chop the onion and trow it in the pot once warm
Chop the garlic & rinse the quinoa and lentils (together is fine) while the onion browns
Once the onion is caramelised, add the garlic and stir until fragrant
Add the rinsed quinoa and lentils and the can of chopped tomatoes. Fill the empty can with water all the way to the top and empty it out into the pot with the quinoa. That way, you won't have to waste a drop of tomato!
Add in the tamari, spices, black strap molasses and bring to a gentle simmer.
Cover and cook on low heat for 25 minutes (or until most of the liquid is absorbed), stirring occasionally.
Serve hot or cold!