Hearty Quinoa with Peppers, Corn & Black olives

Quinoa is one of my newer food obsessions. As you may be able to tell, I’m quite the avid reader of food blogs, magazines, articles, TV shows, recipe swapping, etc. If it has to do with food and cooking, I’m interested. I love learning new ways of cooking, new foods I’ve not yet heard of or tried, new spices. Since coming to Colorado I met someone from Ethiopia who introduced me to Injera and all sorts of new and exciting foods, meaning a post on those will likely be coming soon! Anyhow, when I find one I like enough, it becomes a part of my food routines. Thus is the case with quinoa. It is tiny grains like rice, with a nuttier flavor that pairs well with nearly anything. But it can be a bit bland if you don’t add things to it.
If you recall from earlier posts, I moved recently and set about a mission to use up as much food from the pantry as I could so that I didn’t have to cart it with me to the next place. In the final week before moving, I discovered a box of quick-cook quinoa I didn’t realize I had. I decided that I would add as many canned items as I thought would go well together and make one heck of a side dish. For vegetarians and vegans, this could also be a main dish. Once it was all mixed together, it turned out super tasty! And it makes a ton, so be aware of that. Maybe 8 cups worth?

1 box couscous (maybe 2 cups uncooked)
1 can corn
1 can beans (I had garbanzo)
1 can black olived
1 jar roasted red peppers

Step 1: Open and drain the corn, beans and olives. Pour into a pot and add a full can of water each and set to boil. Dice the black olives and red peppers into small pieces. Add the peppers to the pot.

The mixed up canned goods looks like soup.

Step 2: Once it boils, pour in the couscous and mix. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes covered.

 Step 3: Once all the liquid is absorbed, fluff it up with a fork. You now have healthy veggie and protein packed side dishes for about 8-10 people or meals!

 The flavors and colors worked together nicely. As I said, this could be a full meal in its own right. You can also experiment with adding other vegetables, meats or cheeses too.

Served with steak and a side salad. Perfect.

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