Another item that arrived a little while back in the wonderful box from my mother was a bag of sun dried tomatoes. I absolutely love these things. A couple winters ago, I went through a stage when I was never without a jar of them (the type packed in oil) in my refrigerator. Then I decided they were too expensive & I needed to buy more fresh veggies, and went without for a while. Finally, I discovered the dried variety bought in bulk, and sun dried tomatoes were once again a realistic, and oh so tasty, addition to my diet.
For some reason, I also absolutely love the combination of black beans & sun drieds. It’s just a wonderful flavor and texture combo that is infinitely adaptable to whatever else you have on hand. Lucky for me, when I decided I wanted to cook up something with my new red treasures, I also had a couple cups of sprouted black beans, already cooked, in my freezer from the last time I made black beans (it’s easiest to do a large amount at once, I find, and they froze perfectly fine!). Beans cooked at home, especially when sprouted, are definitely preferable to canned beans, but if you’re in a hurry the canned version will definitely work. If you want to read more about sprouting beans, check out this post for more info.
Besides optionally cooking the beans yourself, this recipe is wonderfully easy to throw together, and just explodes with plenty of colors and flavors. Also, it’s completely adjustable to your personal taste and what you have to work with. Experiment and have fun!
serves 4 as a main dish, more as a side
1/2 large, or 1 medium, onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large, or 2 small, sweet potatoes, peeled & diced
3/4 cup quinoa (I used a mix of regular & black, for more color!)
2 1/4 cups water
1 large jalepeno, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sun dried tomatoes
2 cups black beans, cooked
1-2 cups canned corn (I used about a cup, because that’s what we had leftover in the freezer from another meal, but if you wanted to use a full can I’m sure you could!)
1 tsp cumin
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup parsley or cilantro (I adore cilantro….. but realize not everyone feels the same way!!!)
In a large pan, saute the onion, garlic and sweet potato, until onion is translucent. Add the quinoa and toast for a couple minutes, stirring frequently, then add the water, jalepeno, red pepper flakes & salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the quinoa and sweet potato are just about tender, about 15 minutes. Then add the sun dried tomatoes, cover again and simmer until everything is tender. If liquid remains unabsorbed in the pan, raise heat to high and cook for 2 minutes until it boils off. Stir in the remaining ingredients, and serve! We ate this warm, but I’m sure it would also be delicious chilled.