Thursday, March 21, 2013

Anne's Kitchen: Southwestern Quinoa with Black Beans and Toasted Pecans

For the second installment of Anne's Kitchen, my mom is sharing my absolute favorite meal, and this one is totally vegan. It is one of the stranger-looking meals (the comments I got at work from coworkers who saw me eating this in the break room...!!) but it is an amazing mixture of texture and rich flavor, not to mention how filling it is. One of my major critiques of vegan cooking is that I never feel satisfied after eating the way I do after I've had a piece of meat, but this meal blows that out of the water.  It is so rich in protein, good fats, and complex carbohydrates that I always feel like I've had a feast, but totally guilt-free! A photo of the complete recipe is found at the end of the post.

This is a recipe that my non-vegan daughter likes.  I know this because not only did she eat it when I served it, but she called dibs on the leftovers for lunch the next day.   

It's always a good thing to compliment your mom's cooking, but to eat it again as leftovers! Well, that is like icing on the cake.  In this case, better for you, too. 

Especially this dish ... Southwestern Quinoa with Black Beans and Toasted Pecans from the October 2012 issue of Vegetarian Times.  

Quinoa gets a lot of attention because it is high in protein.  So are beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, whole grains, peas, and leafy greens. If you're interested in the basic of nutrition on a vegan diet, this is a great place to start.

So not only is this dish nutritious, it is tasty and has great texture!  As my husband, who has no sense of smell, will tell you, texture is very important. 

Here are the ingredients, all set out and ready to measure.  (If I wasn't taking pictures, I wouldn't do this, but it is a handy thing to do.)

Toast those pecans!

Chop those onions and soften them in oil! (I used half the oil because I can.  Onions soften quite nicely in just water, but sometimes I use a little oil for extra flavor.)

Add those spices and stir 'til goopy ...

Stir in quinoa and water and simmer ...

.... until is looks like this:

Meanwhile, deal with the avocado.  This is the sweetest little tool for an avocado, a little splurge which I do not regret.  You can buy one for yourself here

Sprinkle with orange juice .... I omitted the oil altogether because avocado doesn't need oil, in my opinion.

By now, the quinoa is probably done and can be getting it's paper towel spa treatment (as per the recipe).  I don't know the purpose of this, perhaps to absorb any extra moisture? But whatever, just do it.  You know how you enjoy a good steamy novel bath, so does quinoa.

Meanwhile, back at the stove, saute that garlic (again, I used about half the oil) ...

... add the o.j. and black beans and cook til warm ...

THEN, combine the quinoa and beans, stir in pecans and garnish with avocado, assemble it artfully over a bed of spinach (a little extra nutrition!) and next to a sweetly roasted sweet potato (from  and you have a meal good enough to eat twice ...

OH WAIT! one more thing. 

Let's keep it real ... now do the dishes.

Here is a copy of the recipe:

Happy Eating!    


  1. Okay Mom, hurry up and get here so you can make this for us :) ha!

    1. She'll be on her way tomorrow! Wish I was coming too :(

  2. Thank you Anne and Ellie for this delicious recipe! I tried it yesterday and really enjoyed it. I can't say I'm a vegetarian but I could become one with recipes like this. :-)

    1. Yay, I'm so glad you liked it! It is definitely my favorite. It is seriously the only meal that doesn't make me miss meat just a little bit. :)


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