Quinoa Cowboy Caviar Lettuce Wraps

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I decided to go a little outside my box last night and try a recipe using quinoa. I’ve really wanted to try this grain for a long time, but had yet to buy any to try.

After browsing the aisles of Trader Joe’s over the weekend, I noticed they had small bags, which were the perfect size just in case I didn’t end up liking it. I checked out my recipes board on Pinterest, found a quinoa recipe I’d pinned forever ago, and decided to try it with a few modifications of my own. I have to say I was pretty pleased with the outcome!

The final product: Quinoa Cowboy Caviar Lettuce Wraps (I really need to work on my picture-taking skills, but you can only do so much with your phone).

The final product: Quinoa Cowboy Caviar Lettuce Wraps (I really need to work on my picture-taking skills, but you can only do so much with your phone).

The original recipe is from Julie over at The Simple Veganista, so a big thank you to Julie for sharing! Make sure to check out her blog for some great healthy recipes and her beautiful photos 🙂

As mentioned, I made a few modifications to the recipe. I decided to add grilled chicken, but only two small pieces that were diced. I also went with romaine leaves, instead of endive as I had planned, due to the fact the ones at the grocery store were not very nice and on the expensive side. However, the romaine leaves, as you can see above, were quite large so I just filled them and rolled them up as little wraps. The recipe also calls for corn fresh off the cob. It’s not quite corn-on-the-cob season here yet so I simply used frozen corn from Trader Joe’s and it worked just fine.

Check out my recipe below.

Ingredients
1 cup dried quinoa
2 cups water
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 corn cob (or about 1 cup frozen corn, Trader Joe’s)
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 avocado, diced
cilantro, chopped and added to taste
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt, to taste
cracked pepper, to taste
1-2 limes
scooping greens (endive, romaine, bibb lettuce)

Directions
1. In a medium pot, combine water and quinoa. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover, cook for 10-15 minutes. Since I used bagged quinoa from Trader Joe’s I simply followed the instructions on the back of the bag.

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2. While the quinoa is cooking, combine the black beans, red pepper, onion, and corn in a separate bowl. If you’re going to add chicken, start cooking the chicken during this time, as well.

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3. Add the veggie mixture and chicken to the quinoa, and season with cumin, salt, and pepper. Add the juice of 1-2 limes (I only used one). Mix well.

4. Before serving, add the diced avocado and chopped cilantro.

Gabe and I tasted as we went along to make sure we got something we really liked. Make sure you do the same, as we all have different preferences.

Gabe really enjoyed it, as did I. The cumin gives it a nice flavor that reminds me of eating tacos. We had enough left over for another meal for both of us. I think the recipe would be easy to increase or scale back depending on what you need. We threw it in the fridge and have plans to try eating it as more of a salsa with tortilla chips next.

Overall I loved the recipe and think I’ll be adding quinoa to my life. I loved the texture and flavor. I was thinking of substituting it for rice next time we make Indian food at home.

If you try this, let me know how it goes!

Question: Have you trie and/or do you like quinoa? How have you used it?

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