Friday, March 16, 2012

Steak & Quinoa with Black Beans

I discovered a new, delicious meal by accident earlier this week as I tried to use up some leftovers from last weekend. We had some friends over for dinner Saturday night and Ben had grilled a couple pounds of skirt steak that he had bought on sale (side note: Ben grilled it perfectly medium, and it was tender and delicious).

This dish is loosely based on this recipe for quinoa and black beans at, but with several modifications--for my taste, and also to utilize the leftover steak. It makes a lot of food--Ben and I ate it for dinner, then I brought some over to mom and the rest to work with me the next day, so about 4-5 servings (depending on the serving size).

I have mentioned quinoa on this blog before, but I don't think I've really ever explained what it is (for those who don't already know). Quinoa is a grain (well, not technically, but it looks/acts like a grain, I guess) native to South America and known for having great nutritional value (high protein, fiber, and vitamins/minerals). Depending on the type of quinoa you get and how you prepare it, it can have a slightly nutty flavor and a fluffy, slightly crunchy texture. Here are a couple of articles that review some of the nutritional information on quinoa, as well as some of the health benefits: World's Healthiest Foods article and Body Ecology article.
Quinoa can also often take the place of rice in many recipes; here is an article from that compares nutritional values of quinoa and rice (spoiler: quinoa wins). It used to be that you could only get quinoa at expensive health-food stores, but it's becoming more and more popular/mainstream, so you can find it at most grocery store chains now.

Anyway, I wasn't sure how this recipe adventure going to turn out, so I didn't think to take any pictures until I reheated it the next day (equally good as leftovers!) for lunch at work. I'll have to come back and update this post someday when I make this again (and oh, I will make this again!) to include more pictures.

Steak & Quinoa with Black Beans

1 teaspoon olive oil
3 green onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
¾ cup uncooked quinoa
1 ½ cups + ¼ cup unsalted beef broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
½ to 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 lb grilled skirt (or flank) steak, thinly sliced
(optional: fresh cilantro--I didn't use any, because I'm not a much of a fan.)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with 1 ½ c. of broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. 

Stir sliced steak, tomatoes, and remaining broth into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans (and fresh cilantro, if desired). 

For my serving, I tried to measure out about 4 oz of the steak, then scooped out some of the quinoa/black bean/tomato mixture and eyeballed about 1/2 cup in my dish. Add about 4 oz of steamed zucchini (thank you Ziploc ZipnSteam!) and it's a complete meal!

Forgive the dishes/crappy picture--this was at my desk at work.
Nutritional Information:
Makes 4 servings. 1 serving =

490 Calories

Fat: 16.55g     Sodium: 529mg    Carb: 42g    Fiber: 11.84g    Protein: 42.85

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