Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ming Dynasty Black Beans and Quinoa

After the labor-intensive seitan stir fry of two nights ago, I wanted to make something simple tonight. I don't have a lot of vegetables right now because the cold weather kept me from biking to the farmers market yesterday. But this meal hit the spot, plain and delicious. Named after Zhu Yuanzhang's ascension to the throne of China as the Hongwu Emperor, which occurred exactly 643 years ago.

If you're impatient like me you'll forget to soak the black beans, then you'll turn up the heat to cook them faster and end up splitting the skins. I'd make 1 1/2 cups of beans, because as it is the ratio's off in the direction of quinoa. Also, you probably don't need to use as much liquid to simmer the beans as I did.

makes approx. 2 servings

1 c. black beans
3 c. leftover seitan broth
3 c. water
1 c. quinoa
2 c. water
1 avocado
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. salt
hot sauce
olive oil

1. Bring the black beans to a boil in the broth/water mixture. Simmer until done, which in my case was approx. 2 hours but should be more like 90 minutes if you've soaked (right?).
2. Bring the quinoa to a boil, then simmer until fluffy, which only takes 15 minutes. Mix in cumin and chili powder, cover until ready to serve.
3. Mash the avocado with the salt to make guacamole. If you have lemon juice and tomato you should add that.
4. Serve black beans over quinoa and top with guacamole. Drizzle hot sauce and olive oil over the whole shebang.

From a text which first inspired me 5 or 6 years ago, David Hinton's introduction to the Tao Te Ching:

"Only in the human realm is the Integrity of wu-wei [doing nothing; nothing doing; enacting nonbeing] problematic. Here we encounter the sense of exile that drives much of Lao Tzu's thought, that rupture dividing human being and natural process. While Western civilization set out headlong into the barrens of that exile, China returned and stayed close to its lost homeland, cultivating the rich borderlands."

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