Tex-Mex Quinoa

by Sherri Koehler on March 8, 2011

I know a lot of you probably had some variation of “Spanish Rice” you grew up with. My Mom’s recipe very possibly came from some kind of “international cooking” type of book or article in magazines like Redbook or McCall’s. White rice in a tomato-y, sweet, salty and overall bland sauce. Maybe with a bit of chopped up bell pepper, celery and onion. Mom often would serve this with ground beef mixed in and then stuff it all into bell peppers and bake. Certainly not Spanish and not really quite reminiscent of the rice dishes from South and Central America. Really one of those Tex-Mex dishes that have become popular throughout the years.

Now, don’t get me wrong. This was a favorite dish growing up and I still like making stuffed peppers. Lately I’ve been stuffing them with quinoa instead of rice and pinto beans instead of meat.

This weekend we decided to have fajita tacos with lots of bell pepper, onion and Soy Curls. Christie also made some great homemade mashed black beans. I was kind of wanting the Tex-Mex rice and we happened to have some quinoa on hand. In fact the quinoa had been in the rice cooker on warm for a couple of days and was actually getting a little dried out. I just love finding a way to extend the life of leftovers like slightly dried-out qunioa so I was struck with inspiration.

This is a recipe I almost feel guilty for calling a recipe. It is just that simple. However, it turned out so darn tasty I’m writing it up and posting it!

The Stuff

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (preferably a couple days old so it is dried out some or just don’t put in quite enough water to fully cook it)
  • 1 14.5 oz. can Muir Glen fire-roasted, petite diced tomatoes in Adobo sauce
  • 1 4 oz. can of diced mild green chilies

The Making

Put all of the above into a saucepan and simmer on low heat for at least 20 minutes. You want the undercooked/dried-out quinoa to have time to reabsorb all of the moisture from the tomatoes & chilies.

Top with a pile of beans, sauteed veggies, and maybe some salsa & avocado slices too.

Delicious and easy!

The Adobo sauce is mildly spicy. If you are spice adverse go with diced tomatoes with garlic or just plain. I’m not sure all areas carry the petite diced in Adobo sauce, so you can wing it by using diced tomatoes and adding some chili powder, cumin, powdered garlic

The petite dice and the fire-roasting of the Muir Glen brand make for a great flavor and the tiny tomato bits really blend in well.

If you want it hotter use diced hot chilies instead of mild. I’m sure it would be damn tasty!

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