You know what Canada did? After weeks upon weeks of sunshine and warmth, it snowed. SNOW. It was ridiculous and I was pissed because how dare you play with my sanity like that, Canada.
Maybe you’ve experienced a bit of funky weather yourself, or maybe you live in Australia or Chile and it’s now Fall in your side of the equator. Either way, I have something to keep you warm.
You can find quinoa now in most supermarkets, but also in health food stores and definitely online. Although it can be considered pricey I think it’s very worth it. For starters, once cooked it expands quite a bit and goes a long way. It’s also extremely diverse and can be used in tons of ways: On top of salads, in chilis, to make burgers and meatballs, added to soups and stews, as a hot breakfast cereal, in cookies and power bars… quinoa does it all.
Not only that. Quinoa, the revered seed of the ancient Incas, gives you much more than you can imagine: It is a complete protein (it contains the full spectrum of nine amino-acids needed by the body without any of the downsides of animal products), it is full of fiber, and it helps prevent gallstones and various forms of cancer including breast cancer. Also, it improves your stamina– which is why it was a venerated staple by the Inca warriors. And hey, if it was good enough for mighty warriors it sure as heck will be good enough for you and me.
My absolute favorite way of eating quinoa is in a soup with chipotle powder and a bit of lime. There’s something in the contrast of the tastes, the nuttiness of quinoa with the smokey hotness of chipotle and the tang of lime, that gets me salivating just thinking about it. We can’t ignore the fact that chipotle is a little superstar all on its own credit. Being a hot pepper and thus containing capsaicin (the element that gives peppers their heat), this baby protects us from various nerve disorders, it clears any nasal and lung congestion, at the same time that it acts like a powerful anti-inflammatory– and if you’re working out anti-inflammatory foods are your FRIENDS.
Paired up with the soft-spoken black bean and all its properties, including but not limited to: more healthy protein, more fiber, vitamin B1, phosphorus, folates and magnesium, this soup is sure to not only fill you up and keep you warm, but also to stay well in accordance with your health goals.
Quinoa Black Bean Chipotle Soup
1/2 C of uncooked quinoa
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 onion diced
1/2 C cooked black beans
Freshly squeezed lime juice
Sea salt to taste
Remember homemade is always better! To learn how to make homemade vegetable broth, go here. Veggie broth has tons of uses and it can be frozen for later. Very worth making.
To learn how to cook all sorts of beans and lentils at home, go here. It’s so easy!
For this soup, use up any veggies you have around. You can add celery, tomato, potato, or anything else you have in hand.
Soak the uncooked quinoa in water for about 15 minutes; discard the soaking water and place in a saucepan. Add the vegetable broth, diced carrot and onion (or other vegetables that you’re using) and bring to a boil. Cover the saucepan as soon as it starts boiling, and bring temperature down to low. Leave it cooking for about 20 minutes.
Once the quinoa is cooked but still a bit crunchy (you don’t want it to get mushy), add the cooked black beans and salt to taste.
To serve, add a few drops of squeezed lime and sprinkle lightly with the chipotle powder; or if you’re anything like me, use so much of the stuff that your eyes get watery and snot is dripping down your nose. It’s very attractive, I promise.