Sunday, March 9, 2014

Daylight Savings Dish

Could it be?  Finally at long last, for the love of all that's holy, could it truly be?  The sun shone brightly all day long.  Warm natural light is flooding through the house and it's 6 p.m.  Temperatures topped out at a balmy 65 degrees.  My nagging head cold seems to have finally turned a corner and I'm breathing easier.  The lost hour can be a bit disorienting, but the spring forward of this year's daylight savings time seemed to usher in the first true ebbing of winter.  We were ready to cook something to reflect the gloom lifting and the long-awaited return of sunshine.  Something lighter, something healthier.

This lighter, healthier dish needed to make a fair amount so I could portion out enough for my work lunches.  I was also looking for spice, to help keep my senses and stuffy cranium opened up.  I found what appeared to be a fine mix of all of the above on a food blog called Pinch of Yum: southwestern quinoa and black bean casserole.  We have really been digging quinoa of late and Lord knows I love me some southwestern spice.  I wondered and worried a bit as to whether it would be hearty enough and I considered doing a similar casserole with chicken instead.  We stuck with our gut and went for the quinoa and I'm glad we did.  After all, quinoa is a low-fat, cholesterol-free food and a great protein source as cup of cooked quinoa has 8.14 grams of protein and we went with the tri-color quinoa to further spike the palette of this casserole.  

 Toss in the protein-and-fiber-rich black beans, a coating of colorful red and yellow bell peppers, a couple of jalapenos and a bit of cayenne and not only was the dish healthier for those guts we went with, but I was primed for my work week.  One helping was plenty filling to boot.

And my, my, it was good.  The nuttiness of the quinoa, the smokiness of the roasted peppers, the awakening warmth of the spice and the gooeyness of the Mexican cheese all blended for a fine meal.  You could eat it like a casserole or with chips. It was a fine way to start the week and celebrate the new lightness of being, as it were.

Go to the excellent blog Pinch of Yum and find the recipe here.  Go on, now.


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