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Recipe: Mexican Quinoa Bowl with Sweet Potato Fries and Avocado



I made this last night as I was craving Mexican flavours and also had not had quinoa in a little while. This quinoa bowl is so easy and so handy to make. It is made using just one saucepan which is fantastic when it comes to the washing up. Quinoa is a brilliant source of plant based protein and contains all nine of the essential amino acids that we need to obtain from our food. Therefore it is a key ingredient in my diet. One cup of uncooked quinoa yields about three cups of cooked quinoa meaning the quinoa in this dish provides about 24 grams of protein. The black beans provide a further 14 grams of protein.

This can be made without the sweet potato fries and it is plenty on its own. However, I love any excuse to have sweet potato fries as they are so delicious and much nicer than regular fries (which still remain my occasional guilty pleasure). Sometimes when I am doing sweet potato fries I season them with spices such as paprika or chilli or with herbs such as rosemary. However, as there is plenty of flavour in the quinoa, I kept the sweet potato fries simple, seasoning them with just black pepper and sea salt.

Sometimes when recipes call for finishing touches for serving a dish, it is tempting to ignore them or forget about them. However, for this dish, it is really important to finish the quinoa with a squeeze of lime juice and chopped fresh coriander leaves as it really enhances the flavour. The jalapeno peppers and avocado are the final touches.

Ingredients:

For the Quinoa

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 white onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

Half a red chilli, finely chopped

Half a red pepper, finely chopped

1 teaspoon of ground cumin

Pinch of sea salt

1 cup of quinoa

2 cups of vegetable stock

1 tin of black beans, drained and rinsed

For the sweet potato fries

3 sweet potatoes

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

Ground black pepper and sea salt

To serve

Avocado, chopped

Squeeze of lime juice

Jalapeno peppers

Handful of coriander chopped

Method:

1. Peel and wash the sweet potatoes and cut into long thin wedges. Put in a bowl along with the olive oil and salt and pepper and toss well to coat each of the wedges with the oil and seasoning. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and put in a preheated oven (gas mark 4/180 degrees Celsius) for 30 minutes, turning once half way through.

2. To make the quinoa, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, red chilli and red pepper and cook for a further three minutes. Add the cumin, black beans, quinoa and vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa has become fluffy. Once cooked, remove from the heat.

  1. 3. To serve, top the quinoa with chopped coriander and lime juice and add some jalapeno peppers and chopped avocado and serve alongside the sweet potato fries.


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