No homework done on Thursday night. I was in denial about the sheer amount of work I had to do. I used the time to catch up on school-related emails. I love productive excuses!
Remember that extra quinoa I suggested you make? I paired it with some leftover black beans from that same day (did you know 2 cups dried beans makes like 4 cups not-dried beans??) and frozen corn to make this wonderful Quinoa and Black Beans recipe (searching by ingredients on allrecipes.com is awesome!).
4 servings Quinoa and Black Beans recipe (net 2 – we ate 2 for dinner)
This whole meal took about 30 minutes start-to-finish once the fish was defrosted. Please note that I'm starting with pre-cooked quinoa, so this changes how the recipe is put together entirely.
Start by defrosting the fish in the sink. This takes about an hour, tops.
When you’re ready to begin, preheat oven according to baking directions on bag of tilapia (or 375 for 1. Spray a oven-safe pan and place fish in. Sprinkle with seasonings (I do all kinds of things with fish: lemon pepper, Old Bay, garlic/chinese five spice/lime juice. Thursday, I put on Tony Chachere's Famous Creole Seasoning. Good flavor, but way too salty for my taste).
Anyways, while oven is still preheating, move on to beginning the quinoa. First, heat the oil. I used a Dutch oven because I hate getting pans that are too small by the time you add in all the ingredients.. While oil is heating, quick-chop onion (I used a purple onion for color and flavor and the fact that it was the only one I had in the house). Sauté onions until just translucent.
When oven beeps, throw in tilapia and cook until done (if you’re timing this right, just when the quinoa looks done).
Back to the quinoa. Add frozen corn to the pan and stir until thawed. If you’ve used more than the recommended oil, this may spit, so be prepared. Add garlic (lazy me used pre-minced… and a lot of it) and spices (extra on that too) and sauté until fragrant.
OK, this is where it gets really different from the recipe because I was starting with pre-cooked quinoa. I dumped the rest of the left over quinoa (on or about 2 cups?) into the Dutch oven, adding just a little bit of water to help steam/fluff up the quinoa. Then, add black beans and stir until the water gets soaked in. Fold in chopped cilantro and stir a little bit more until the cilantro is just wilted.
Take tilapia out of oven. Serve tilapia and quinoa (sprinkled with lime juice!) with salad.
A quick note on salad: you can make a large salad at the beginning of the week that lasts all week if you remember two things:
- Put a paper towel on the top of the bowl of salad (I have a massive Tupperware bowl in my fridge that I use for salad). This soaks up additional moisture. Swap out towel as needed.
- DO NOT add acidic vegetables to the salad. This includes tomatoes and cucumbers. The acid in these vegetables will cause the salad to rot faster. Keep these chopped in separate Tupperware containers in the fridge or just cut up as needed. We usually have a salad in the fridge that consists of:
- 2-3 kinds of lettuce (some combo of green leaf, red leaf, romaine, spinach, and baby greens)
- Julienne carrots (I buy the pre-chopped organic bags from Kroger because I’m lazy)
- Diced fresh cauliflower
- This combo will stay fresh for days, assuming we don’t eat it all!
And was the quinoa good? Absolutely! I may have just eaten some for breakfast… (Time-saver: it takes 2 minutes to reheat quinoa and at least 10 to make a halfway decent [aka: not cereal] breakfast. And I have a lot of reading to do today…)