It has been a while since I last posted about a side dish! Although they are not the stars of the dinner table they play an important role and sometimes they are even my favourite part of a meal. With my new found passion for quinoa I have been trying to use it more often and that is not hard to do. An easy way to use it is to simply replace the rice in a dish with quinoa and it is with this in my that I undertook making Mexican quinoa.
Mexican rice , or Spanish rice, is a rice side dish that is generally cooked with tomatoes, onions, garlic and a bit of chili pepper heat. In addition to being really easy to make, Mexican rice is packed with flavour and it is always a welcome addition to any meal. One of the nice things about Mexican rice is that it is easy to play around with the recipe and change things up by adding other ingredients like diced bell peppers or even corn or peas. The tomato component is really flexible and I often make Mexican rice to finish off cans of tomato products that were only partially used in other dishes. Canned whole tomatoes work just as well as diced or pureed and fresh ripe tomatoes that are diced are also wonderful.
I figured that Mexican rice would go great with the rice replaced by quinoa and I was not wrong! My favourite part of quinoa has to be the texture and those soft, tiny, chewy pearls work amazingly well in Mexican rice! Now I have another way to make “Mexican rice” and I have a feeling that I will be using it often!
A take on the classic “Mexican” rice with quinoa. This tasty quinoa dish makes the perfect side for your favourite Mexican or Texmex meal.
- 1 tablespoon corn oil
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup diced tomato or 1/4 cup tomato puree
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 handful cilantro, chopped
- Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.
- Add the onions and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the garlic, cumin and chili powder and saute until fragrant about a minute.
- Add the quinoa, broth, tomato, oregano, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the the quinoa is tender and liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Serve garnished with cilantro.