I’m catching up after 6 months of not blogging. Terrible! But, in my defense, I was away from home for 3.5 months and super busy the rest of the time. In fact, I did not really cook very often during this time and it was something I sorely missed.
This dish, however, is a very simple recipe I was able to make a few times while living in NYC on a temporary assignment for a couple months. With only a stovetop and bare-minimum kitchen supplies, this minimal ingredient dish was the perfect solution.
Fresh baby spinach, canned kidney or butter beans, and quinoa are the key ingredients cooked with some garlic (fresh or paste), olive oil, and other spices. It can be prepared in just about 15 minutes — as long as it takes to cook quinoa.
First step is to wash the quinoa and boil it per the instructions. Quinoa is cooked just like rice — brought to a boil, then simmers on medium heat covered until it becomes more translucent and starts fluffing up.
While that’s cooking separately, next step is to saute the garlic and spices in olive oil. I like to use sliced garlic cloves when possible, but often use minced garlic or garlic paste for efficiency. For spices, I use cumin, coriander, ground mustard, ginger, salt, pepper, and Cavenders seasoning.
I then add the beans which I’ve drained and rinsed. I stir the beans for a couple minutes to pick up the seasoning and warm up. I chose red kidney beans for this blog post simply because the color gives a nice contrast, but this dish also tastes great with butter beans. Maybe you can try the butter beans with a red quinoa for the opposite color contrast.
I then add the baby spinach to the saute pan with the temperature down to medium-low. I don’t want the spinach to wilt too much.
I turn the temperature to low and once both the beans and spinach have been coated well with the seasoning, I am ready to mix in the quinoa.
When the quinoa is cooked, uncover it and stir it up to fluff it a bit. Add it to the saute pan and stir it all up.
The end result is a simple to cook dish with minimal ingredients. It’s healthy and filling, and can be served as the main dish, as a side, or used as a stuffing. I prefer to serve it hot, but you can also try serving it cold (room temperature, not chilled) as a salad.
Total cook time, approximately 15 minutes plus 5 minutes to prep.
1 cup spinach
420 g butter beans
1 tablespoon garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups quinoa
Makes 4 servings.
Calories: approx 480 per serving