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Quinoa with Black Beans

You know that quinoa has gone mainstream when you can find it at Costco. Quinoa has become very popular as a healthful, meat-free source of protein. It’s called a super-grain because it contains a balanced set of essential amino acids, which means that unlike other grains such as wheat or rice, quinoa is a complete protein like chicken or beef. It provides a completely satisfying and delicious entree for Meatless Mondays or any night of the week.

Be sure to read the label on the bag of quinoa you purchase to make sure it’s been pre-washed. If it hasn’t been washed, rinse it several times in a sieve to remove the bitter outer protective coating. Fear not, most quinoa has been rinsed; the package will say so.

The WW Points do not reflect the optional feta cheese, but I highly recommend crumbling some on top of each serving. Quinoa is low in WW Points, so you can go ahead and gild the lily!

1 T. vegetable oil 2 cups chopped onion 1 cup chopped red bell pepper 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained 2 t. chili powder 1/2 t. ground cumin 1/2 t. salt 1 1/2 cups water 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro feta cheese (optional)

Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan and add onions and red pepper; sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.

Stir in chili powder, cumin, quinoa and salt. Add water; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until quinoa is almost tender, about 15 minutes. Add beans and 1/4 cup cilantro; cook uncovered until heated through and liquid is fully absorbed, about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cilantro and feta cheese, if desired.

Serves 4

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