Quinoa with Black Beans & Summer Vegetables

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Yield: 4 servings       

3/4 cup  Quinoa
1-1/2 cups  Water
1 Tbsp  Olive oil
½ each  Red onion, diced
2 cloves  Garlic, chopped
1 each   Zucchini, diced
1 each  Red bell pepper, diced
1-1/2 cups Asparagus, cut in 1” pieces (approximately 6-7 large spears)
As needed Water
2 cups  Cooked black beans (or one 15 oz can; drained)
½ bunch  Red Chard, cut in bite size pieces (2 cups) substitute spinach
1 Tbsp  Lemon zest
½ cup  Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
1 tsp.  Fresh thyme
To taste Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup  Hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1. Combine the quinoa and water in a 2 qt. saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook on low for 1/2 hour; set aside. (*you can also use a rice cooker)

2. Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat and add the olive oil. Add onion, garlic, zucchini and red bell pepper; lower heat and cook until tender (approx. 3 minutes). Add quinoa; adjust heat to a simmer.

3. Add asparagus and additional water if needed; cook until asparagus is tender.

4. Stir in the black beans, chard and lemon zest; wilt briefly. Add cheese and thyme; season with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with hazelnuts and serve.