Last time I was up visiting home (Maine), my grandparents gave me their steamer/rice cooker.
I’ve never used one before, thought about using one before, or really even known what one does with a steamer/rice cooker. Well okay, the name makes it kind of obvious but I’ve always steamed my veggies on the stove and cooked my rice in boiling water. Why mess with something that works just fine?
Did you know you can cook chicken in this thing? Yup. It says so on the box.
So, here’s the deal, I knew I wanted to make this tonight. I had fully intended to make it stove-top but when a rice cooker was mentioned I thought, I have one of those.
After ripping the box open like a child on Christmas morning, I discovered that there were no instructions. After some serious google-ing, I found a pdf file of the manual, phew. There was nothing about quinoa so I did some more searching and found a site that said to cook it for 20 minutes in the rice cooker. Well, it took mine nearly 40 minutes to absorb all of the liquid and I used the 2/1 ratio instructed. So keep that in mind…
Anyway, into my rice cooker went 1 cup red quinoa (rinsed), 2 cups vegetable broth, one cinnamon stick, 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp chili powder, 1/4 coriander and 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper.
While my quinoa was taking its sweet time in the rice cooker, I cooked up the onion (chopped) and the peppers (also chopped) in about 1 tbsp Roasted Garlic Olive Oil. I cooked the onions until golden then added the peppers. Since the quinoa was still cooking, I removed them from the heat and set aside. I also rinsed the black beans and set those aside too.
Once the quinoa is done (liquid is completely absorbed and you can see the grain), add it to pepper and onion mixture. Then add the black beans. Salt and pepper to your taste and if you want, add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.
This dish is SO hearty. If you don’t like things that have a bit of a kick, reduce the cayenne (though I thought there was the perfect amount). Next time I will also be going back to my stove-top method…
But, I’m sure the steamer/rice cooker will get put to good use in the future. Chicken perhaps?