Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Beans and Quinoa with Beets

Clearly, the holidays got in the way of a few things... like posting and trying new things (whoops)! Unfortunately, this has meant that I've been backsliding on feeding my kids and resorting to plain pasta or pb&j more than I care to think of.

I must admit that it's hard for me to get very psyched up about trying new things with my kids - both girls are being very difficult and picky right about now, and it's so so easy to just serve up a dinner that I know will be met with no complaints. On the other hand, I feel sure that if I never serve up anything new, they will never try anything new - and I'm a bit tired of serving up plain pasta 3 nights in a row!

My new goal for 2010 is to have one vegetarian dinner and one vegan dinner each week. We've always had at least one vegetarian meal each week, but I love the challenge of adding some vegan dishes to my repertoire. Tonight was a vegan night, and I was thrilled - both girls actually tried some dinner and ate a few bites! Neither of them finished, of course, but these are my kids we are talking about - the fact that they didn't burst into tears at the mere sight of a beet invading their plates is progress!

Beans and Quinoa with Beets

I saw a Martha Stewart recipe recently in which she boiled beets along with dried black beans, and I was interested to give it a whirl. This was delicious!! I sauteed the beet greens with some garlic, salt, and pepper (and a little olive oil) to have alongside, but didn't even attempt to serve those to my kids!

1 lb dried black beans, rinsed
3 beets, scrubbed and trimmed
1 tsp canola oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
zest of one lime
juice of one lime
fresh cilantro, chopped (to taste - I used about a handful but could easily have used more!)
quinoa, cooked according to package directions

Combine beans and beets in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for about 1 hour. Remove the beets and let cool. Continue to cook the beans for 45 minutes more.

When cool enough to handle, peel the beets (rubbing them with a paper towel is an easy way to get the skin off) and chop them up. Set them aside.

When the beans are tender, drain them in a colander and set aside. In the large pot, heat up the canola oil and add the scallions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook for one minute over medium heat. Add the beans back in, stir well, and remove from heat.

Stir the lime zest, lime juice, and cilantro into the beans. Serve over the quinoa and garnish with beets.


BranFlakes said...

I usually feed my kids the things I know they like for breakfast and lunch so that I can cook whatever I want for dinner.

Kara said...

BranFlakes - that's what I do, too. It helps me feel less guilty if they have only a bite or two of dinner if I know they had a good breakfast and lunch. Unfortunately, it doesn't take away my frustration at their refusal to try most things :-)

Jenna said...

been missing your recipes! love this one. was just talking last night about how I need to cook more with beets and i'm in a quinoa kick at present. wonder if the bean/beet broth would do OK in a soup, or do you think the beets make it too sweet? the idea of draining the bean broth makes me shudder, i save most cooking liquids to make soup. there's nutrients in that water!! last night i poured a couple tablespoons of water i steamed okra in into my freezer broth container. when it gets full, i add it to water when making beans, soup, etc. call. me. crazy.

C. Beth said...

Yum! I like beets but have only made them once--they were SO messy, I've shied away ever since! But maybe I need to branch back out....

Great to see you posting again. :)

Kara said...

Jenna - I never thought of saving the water! I'm sure something yummy could be done with the beet-bean broth, although I didn't taste it to see if it was too sweet or not.

Beth - I line my cutting board with a paper towel to minimize the mess :-) I don't make beets often because they are one of the only things my husband won't eat, but I *really* liked them as a garnish to the beans.

maryanne said...

I actually came over to your blog yesterday (before you posted this) to see if my feed wasn't working or something - it's great to see a new post!

My husband is actually the pickiest eater at our house, and much harder to "trick" into eating things (although I've gotten pretty good at adding pureed veggies). But I'm excited to try out your vegan recipes at lunchtime with the kids!

Money Saving Maine-iac said...

Yeah! Glad to have you back! This looks yummy!

Anonymous said...

Glad to see a new post! I was beginning to worry. Just popped over to see what you had for pumpkin recipes. Thanks!!
Mary from Nebraska