Wednesday, January 16, 2013

your own version.

Because what is adulthood, other than tweaking the norms until you've created your own version of life and own it? Your own version of - everything. Family. Home. Career. Looks. Thoughts. Friends. Morals. Priorities.

Even, um...recipes.

I'm not much of a cook. I make a few tried-and-true desserts (fudge and chocolate-ginger cookies being my faves), some staple entrees (which, let's be real, are really just variations on a mac & cheese theme), and some killer dips (shudder) and pasta salads (do those count as cooking?). It's not that I'm bad at cooking, or even that I don't like it, assuming it's relatively cheap, quick, and painless. Cooking just isn't a passion of mine; it's more a means to a delicious end.

All of which is why I love this recipe: Blackened Chicken and Cilantro-Lime Quinoa.

I found it on Pinterest (obvi) and tried it that same night - but a vegetarian version, and using a couple of the commenters' adaptations. You can see the original recipe via the above link, but here's my take on it. WIN.

Black Bean & Cilantro-Lime Quinoa
1 can cream of mushroom soup (I used Amy's Organic)
1 cup quinoa
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
Juice and zest of half a lime
1 cup black beans, rinsed
Shredded cheddar cheese, to taste

Avocado Cream Sauce
Flesh of one avocado
3 Tbsp. Greek yogurt
Hefty splash of lime juice

Oh-so-easy to prepare, even for  a cooking dilettante such as myself:

  1. Heat the cream of mushroom soup until simmering. Stir in quinoa; cover and simmer on low for ~15 minutes, until quinoa has absorbed the liquid. (I stirred occasionally.)
  2. Meanwhile, combine garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, cilantro, and lime juice and zest in a medium bowl. Mix in beans.
  3. Combine cooked quinoa with spice/bean mixture. Top with cheese and Avocado Cream Sauce.
  4. (Avocado Cream Sauce: Puree ingredients in food processor, or Magic Bullet if you're lazy like me.)

I'll take a picture next time I make it, which will be as soon as I get my ass to the store for more cream of mushroom soup. Full disclosure? I had never actually tried cream of mushroom soup before. So. Freaking. Delicious. At least, prepared like this.

And for that special someone in your life (maybe yourself?) whose meal can't possibly be complete without meat? Here's a pic of the original chicken-infested version from Sarcastic Cooking, where I found the recipe:

Seriously. I made Homer donut noises all over the place.


  1. I LOVED cream of mushroom soup as a kid, but even then I picked out every single mushroom. Which I guess means that I ate bowls of cream for dinner.

    Healthy choices, no wonder I never had that growth spurt!

  2. If you're still waiting for that growth spurt, buy the Amy's Organic version and go nuts. It's really good for you, and most of the mushrooms are virtually undetectable. I know because I picked around the big chunks of 'shroom and was only left with two at the end. :)

    And? Cream of mushroom soup is probably better for you than Cinnamon Toast Crunch, which I apparently lived on for a year. Growth spurt, shmowth shmurt.



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