Cooking is an act of love.
My mama used to tell me this all the time. She cooked for my papa every night and I carried this desire with me into my marriage… then kids came. Its not that my desire changed. The task of cooking and preparing a meal just became more difficult. I eventually had a heart-to-heart with myself and decided I had to come up with a game plan to cook meals for my husband and family.
This happened in two steps:
- menu planning & meal prep
- one pot meals
Let’s be honest – getting to the grocery store, prepping the food, and then cooking the meal is half the battle. Clean up is the worst part! With one-pot meals, the cleanup is a breeze, and this really speaks to my heart. Not only do I get to serve my family by way of cooking them dinner, but I also get to spend all that “would-be clean up time” with them! Win-win in for the mama books!
I used a skillet to cook this dish. You just need a pot or pan deep enough to hold the liquids that will eventually be absorbed by the quinoa. I’ve also made this recipe in a Dutch oven – my go-to for all things one-pot.
MEXICAN QUINOA SKILLET
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 white or yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (15oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15oz) whole kernel corn, drained and rinsed
1 can (14.5oz) diced tomato
1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste
shredded chicken breast
grated cheese (pepper jack and mozzarella are my choice)
MAMA TIP: You can use a rotisserie chicken or, if you’re like me, cook 4-6 breasts in the slow cooker at the beginning of the week. Store in the fridge and use throughout the week for different meals. This recipe also tastes amazing without meat at all.
- In a skillet or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion and stir frequently until onions are softened (about 2 minutes).
- Add black beans, corn, tomatoes, quinoa, and broth. Stir.
- Add herbs and spices and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer about 30 minutes or until quinoa is cooked through.
- Once quinoa is cooked, add shredded chicken and ½ the shredded cheese. Heat just until chicken is hot and dish is combined.
- Scoop into oven safe bowls and top evenly with remaining cheese. Place under the broiler for a minute or two to melt cheese. You can also just top with cheese and serve. It turns out great either way!
MAMA TIP: To quicken this recipe, cook the quinoa ahead of time, according to the cooking instructions on the package. Quinoa stores great in mason jars in the fridge for up to 5 days. Add cooked quinoa to the pot and add just a splash of chicken or vegetable broth to the dish to help everything combine. Heat until dish is hot and enjoy!
YUMMY ADD INS: Diced jalapeno, a pinch of oregano, squirt of fresh lime juice, and FRESH parsley all taste amazing as well. I normally add fresh herbs, but I was out so I used dried – which tastes fine too.