(Essence of) Coconut Quinoa with Black Beans and Corn

March 14, 2012

Recently I made another trip to Oliverde, just off of Pearl Street in Boulder to replenish my nearly exhausted supply of Espresso Balsamic Vinegar and to get another kind of olive oil. I strolled in, tasted a few olive oils, selected one, and then moved on to the vinegars. It was a gorgeous day, and I was in a springy mood, so I tasted a few fruity vinegars, and then decided, what the heck – I’ll try the Coconut White Balsamic one which I hastily bypassed last time. And, just like on my last trip when I tried the Espresso Balsamic Vinegar, the minute the coconut vinegar hit my tongue, I knew I was getting it. And once again, I had no idea whatsoever as to what I would use it in, but it really didn’t matter. I was buying it.

My husband agreed with how spectacular the Coconut White Balsamic tasted when I got home, and we discussed what I could do with it. I decided to do something with black beans and corn (which for me always means bell pepper and some type of onion), and I thought this would really work well with Quinoa. That was simple, but deciding how to use the vinegar was a little trickier. Then I thought about how great the dressing was on the Butternut Squash and Black Rice with Almonds and Pomegranate Seeds I made using a recipe from Sunset magazine, and figured that I could use the same ratios of acid, sweetener, and oil. Instead of lemon juice and maple syrup I used the coconut vinegar and agave. And I used half sesame oil and half olive oil.

Quinoa, Corn, Black Beans, Bell Pepper, and Green Onions

Quinoa, Corn, Black Beans, Bell Pepper, and Green Onions

We both enjoyed the result quite a bit. It was subtly coconutty, and very tasty. You could top it with shredded coconut if you wanted to kick up the coconut taste a bit. Some searches online turned up several hits for coconut vinegar, but if you wanted to, you could probably work up something with coconut extract and white balsamic vinegar, or maybe even coconut milk if you want to experiment a bit.

(Essence of) Coconut Quinoa with Black Beans and Corn

serves 4-6

1 cup quinoa (ideally red and/or black)
1 + 1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 red or orange bell pepper, chopped
1 bunch green onions, white and green parts chopped
1 can of black beans
1 cup of sweet corn
1 Tbsp coconut white balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp sesame oil

For the dressing, combine the vinegar and honey, and then whisk in 1 Tbsp of olive oil and 1 Tbsp of sesame oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Rinse the quinoa well, then add to a saucepan with the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered for 15 minutes, or until the stock is absorbed. Set aside.

Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, then sauté the pepper for about 3 minutes. Add the corn, and continue to sauté for a few more minutes. Add the green onion and sauté for an additional 30 seconds. Turn the heat off, add the quinoa, and stir well. Drizzle the dressing on top, and mix to coat everything well.

Serve warm or cold.

(Essence of) Coconut Quinoa with Black Beans and Corn

(Essence of) Coconut Quinoa with Black Beans and Corn

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