Quinoa Chile Bowl

This is a pretty random concoction that I threw together this evening when I got home and realized that we were out of leftovers for lunches this week. I always try to have yummy leftovers for lunch, since eating out is both expensive and challenging for my gluten-free self. Good leftovers give you something to look forward to, no matter what goes haywire during the day…and on a Full Moon week – there’s plenty going haywire, so lunch is a welcome respite.

There’s not much more to say about this dish other than it’s a spicy bowl of goodness, crafted from odds and ends in the fridge. I didn’t have quite enough BBQ pork leftover for 2 lunches, so I tossed in there for garnish, and it adds a nice smoky note to the concoction, but could just as easily be left out, and a can of black beans tossed in.

Quinoa Chile Bowl with Pork
Serves 6

2 cups Quinoa (dry)
1 T butter
1/2 large onion, sliced
1 1/2 cups sliced bell pepper
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
6 oz leftover pork shoulder (optional)
1 T cumin
1 T chile con carne spice
4 T salsa
2 T chipotle puree
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup chicken stock
Cilantro to garnish

  1. Cook the quinoa in your rice cooker (2 1/2 rice cooker cups of quinoa) with 1 cup chicken stock, water to fill to the 2.5 line on the rice cooker bowl. Add the chile powder, cumin, salsa and chipotle peppers in the rice cooker, and cook on the quick steam setting until done.
  2. In a large saute pan, melt the butter, and saute the bell pepper, garlic and onion 4-5 minutes until soft, then set aside.
  3. When the quinoa is cooked, pour it into a large mixing bowl, and add the cooked onions and bell pepper, corn, cilantro and pork. Mix to combine. If you want it spicier, add more chipotle puree or some siracha sauce.

388 cal/serving, 100cal from fat, 11g fat, 30mg cholesterol, 280mg sodium, 270mg potassium, 56g carbs, 7g fiber, 3g sugars, 18.7g protein

Mango & Curried Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is a gift to the gluten-free people of the world. This tiny, earthy protein-packed grain is as open to inspiration as the other main grain in my life – rice. The ladies I work with are also quinoa lovers. Betsey eats quinoa and ghee for breakfast most mornings, Lori makes a veggie stir fry with quinoa, and I adore this spicy quinoa and black bean salad. Last week, Jen jumped in with her own quinoa recommendation for this curried mango quinoa recipe – and I knew I had to make it. WOW. I think this may be my new favorite spring salad – especially while the mangos are so good.

This recipe is simple to prepare, and completely delicious. I made some alterations from the original recipe (of course), adding carrot and cilantro, and making more dressing than the recipe originally called for. The resulting salad has the tang of the yogurt and limes and a nice heat from the curry powder, and the mangos are a perfect cool counterpoint to the heat. We’ll happily be eating this for lunch the rest of this week.

For lunch-storage purposes, I’ll add the mango each morning before I leave for work, so the fruit doesn’t get all soggy from being mixed into the salad for days at a time.

Mango Curried Quinoa Salad
Serves 6 as a main course

6 Weight Watchers Points per serving

1 cup greek yogurt, 0% fat
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (from 2-3 limes)
3 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cup quinoa
2 ripe mangos, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (2 cups)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 carrot, scrubbed, then grated
1 fresh jalapeƱo chile, seeded and minced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

  1. Optional protein garnish – saute a few shrimp with a dash of curry, minced clove of garlic with a little olive oil, and top the salad with the shrimp.
  2. Rinse quinoa in a bowl using 5 changes of water, rubbing grains and letting them settle before pouring off water (if quinoa does not settle, drain in a large sieve after each rinsing).
  3. Cook quinoa in rice cooker along with 1 tsp curry powder, using appropriate amount of water for your cooker. Set aside cooked quinoa to cool. If you don’t have a rice cooker, cook quinoa on the stovetop according to the package directions.
  4. Whisk together yogurt, lime juice, 2 tsp of curry powder, ginger, salt in a measuring cup. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until combined.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the cooled quinoa, bell pepper, jalepeno, cilantro, carrot and cilantro. Drizzle about half of the yogurt dressing over the salad, and mix with a spatula. Add the rest of the dressing, and mix thoroughly.
  6. When you’re ready to serve, top with the diced mango, and optional shrimp.