I’m purging my cookbook collection. So far, my keep rate is less than 50% and I’m confident my sagging bookshelves will thank me. As part of the purge, I’m scanning the cookbooks in the donate-to-the-library pile for healthy recipes I might want to try. This quinoa pilaf from a book in Cook’s Illustrated’s “The Best Recipe” series was one I had to save.
I love Cook’s Illustrated, but sadly gave up my subscription years ago because I don’t find many of their recipes to be diabetic-friendly or heart-healthy. This quinoa pilaf is an exception. It has a nice boost of fiber, is low in fat and cholesterol, and has plenty of plant-based protein.
The black beans and quinoa combine to produce a dish that is a little bit higher in carbs than I usually like to eat in a single meal. However, each of these ingredients has a relatively low glycemic load, which means they provide steady energy for your body and won’t spike your blood sugar. I’m okay with this amount of carbohydrate given the circumstances, but your mileage may vary. Check with your nutritionist if you have any concerns.
Quinoa Pilaf with Black Beans, Corn and Jalapenos
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups quinoa rinsed and drained (I used a combination of red and white)
- 1 3/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 medium jalapeños seeded, ribs removed and minced
- 1 1/2 cups frozen corn thawed
- 14 ounces black beans, rinsed and drained 1 can
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- Freshly ground black pepper
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and salt, if using. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion has softened, about 10 minutes.
Add quinoa and cook, stirring frequently, until quinoa has browned slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in broth and jalapeños, increase heat to medium and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir in corn and black beans and continue cooking until quinoa is translucent and tender, another 5 minutes or so.
Remove from heat, remove lid, lay a clean folded kitchen towel over the pot and replace the lid. Let stand for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Stir in lime juice and season with pepper.
Watching sodium? Rinse the black beans well or cook dried beans yourself without salt. Also use low-sodium or no-salt-added broth. Skip the added kosher salt.
Too many carbs? Reduce the serving size or the amount of beans and/or corn you use.