Active Time: 20 minutes || Total Time: 30 mins
Black beans and quinoa go together like Laverne & Shirley. But, unlike Laverne & Shirley, sometimes even perfect food combinations can get boring. As a general rule of thumb, if I start to get bored I think “fruit.” And if it’s winter, well, I think frozen fruit!
I love berries in savory applications. They add lots of body to sauces without adding any fat, they add depth of flavor and they provide just a hint of sweetness. The sauce has smoky spiciness from chipotles and a toasty, nutty flavor – as well as creaminess – from toasted almonds. I threw some sauteed broccoli in for green. I gladly ate this as dinner, but you can also serve it as a side dish with any Latin inspired meal. But no matter what, definitely hum the Laverne & Shirley theme while you cook. It’s kind of empowering.
Notes: Chipotles vary in size, but generally even if you are a spice wimp, you should be able to handle 2 chipotles that have their seeds removed. If you are a lover of spice, then start with 3 and add more if you like.
1 cup quinoa (red quinoa is especially pretty)
2 cups water
2 teaspoons oil
4 cups small broccoli florettes, and diced stems
15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained (about 1 ½ cups)
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted (divided)
2 to 3 chipotles in adobo, seeded
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup frozen raspberries, thawed
1 teaspoon agave (sugar or maple syrup ok too)
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a small saucepan, combine the quinoa and water with a pinch of salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to simmer and cook until quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
In the meantime, preheat a large pan over medium heat. Toast the almonds, tossing them frequently, until they’re honey brown in spots. Remove from pan. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of the almonds for garnish, the rest will go into the dressing.
Now, in the same large pan, saute the broccoli in oil and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, tossing frequently, until tender. When it’s done, just let it sit in the pan uncovered.
Now prepare the sauce. Place the garlic clove in a small food processor (I use the Magic Bullet) and pulse to chop. Add the almonds (except for the reserved 2 tablespoons) and grind to a coarse powder. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. If it’s too thick, thin out with a little water.
To assemble, toss the quinoa, black beans and broccoli together in a mixing bowl. Reserve about 1/3 of the dressing. Pour the rest of the dressing into the mixing bowl and toss everything to coat. Transfer to plates, drizzle with the extra sauce and garnish with almonds.