Mexican Quinoa

Mexican Quinoa

At our house, we have reached what some might call The Epitome of Tacky. I haven’t set out any pink flamingos on the front lawn or started peddling Amway to unsuspecting friends, but we HAVE moved our treadmill from the garage into our bedroom. (Cue jokes about it becoming a glorified laundry hanging device. But, hey, at least it’s not a Nordic Track or an AbDoer–remember those?) I just really couldn’t take anymore 100+ degree runs in the garage. I mean, I want to sweat when I exercise, not melt. Anyway, I solemnly swear it’s getting actual use–as an exercise device, not as a laundry hanger. Yesterday, when my nutrition internship workday involved six hours in a Suburban and a heavy lunch at a greasy spoon diner (long story), by the time I got home, I was itching to get some physical activity. The trouble is, when you get home at the end of the day and the house needs cleaning and dinner needs making, how do you squeeze a workout in, even with the convenience of your tacky bedroom treadmill?

Mexican Quinoa

Better find a dinner that just about makes itself! Having made this Mexican quinoa several times before, I knew that once all the ingredients got dumped in the pan, I had almost half an hour of simmering time to jump on the treadmill. Twenty-five sweaty, satisfying minutes later, dinner was ready for serving and I had gotten some exercise to counterbalance my day of sitting. Win-win.

Mexican Quinoa

Served with chips and guacamole, this is a hearty, healthy, inexpensive vegetarian (or vegan, if you don’t add cheese and sour cream) dinner that comes together fast. Can’t ask for more on a busy weeknight!

Mexican Quinoa

Mexican Quinoa
(Adapted from Annie’s Eats, who adapted it from Peanut Butter Runner)


2 tsp. olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced (use less jalapeño for less spice)
1 c. uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 1/4 c. vegetable or chicken broth
1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14.5-oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 c. frozen corn
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. cilantro, chopped
1/2 lime, juiced

Shredded cheddar, sour cream, sliced green onions, and/or avocado for topping


  1. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Salute garlic and jalapeño until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Stir in quinoa, broth, black beans, diced tomatoes, corn, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer about 25 minutes or until liquid is fully absorbed.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro and lime juice. Serve topped with cheese, sour cream, green onions, and/or avocado.

Serves 5.

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