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Skillet Quinoa with Black Beans, Cilantro and Feta

Skillet Quinoa with Black Beans, Cilantro and FetaThis versatile, quick and easy heart-smart dish makes a hearty side or a made-to-order meal for everyday athletes. Quinoa, a gluten-free whole grain, and black beans supply athletes with carbohydrates, fiber, protein and other nutrients that help produce energy, restore cells and replenish nutrient stores. Canola oil keeps saturated fat to a minimum and lets the fresh ingredients shine. Recipe created by cookbook author, Nancy Hughes.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup diced onions
2 cups diced red bell pepper
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 (15-ounce) can reduced sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/3 cup crumbled reduced fat feta cheese*
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cooking Directions:

  1. In large, non-stick skillet, heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and pepper. Sauté 5 minutes or until onions begin to brown on edges, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add water and quinoa. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat, cover and cook on medium-low for 12 minutes or until water is absorbed.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in beans, walnuts, chili powder, feta, cilantro, garlic and salt. Cover and let stand 2 minutes to heat through and absorb flavors.

Makes 6 (1 cup) servings.

*Note: For a vegetarian version, replace feta with vegan cheese or tofu. Leftovers? Add quartered grape tomatoes, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a bit more cilantro for an easy meatless entrée.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/6 of recipe; 1 cup): Calories 230; Total Fat 8g; Saturated Fat 1.5g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 360mg; Carbohydrates 31g; Fiber 7g; Protein 10g.

Recipe and photograph courtesy of