This is a fun dish, and a great seasonal one for warmer weather. I love to serve it with Noah’s cod cakes. I’m a big quinoa fan. I have basically stopped eating rice, and I do watch my carbs–so quinoa and riced cauliflower have become my go-to’s. Quinoa, for anyone who does not know, is a gluten-free, high protein plant food that contains all nine essential amino acids. It is also high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin E and antioxidants. This pseudo-cereal (it’s technically a seed) is deserving of it’s superfood status and its nickname: the “mother of all grains“.
Non-GMO and typically grown organically, it’s normally called a whole grain food (even though it is not technically a real grain). The United Nations unofficially designated 2013 “The International Year of Quinoa“, as a “catalyst for learning about the potential of quinoa for food and nutrition security, for reducing poverty – especially among the world’s small farmers – and for environmentally sustainable agriculture“. Quinoa is still considered a carb, but it has a low glycemic index. Unlike rice and pasta, I don’t get that sugar spike when I eat quinoa and this I love.
Quinoa comes with options. There are three main types: white, red and black, although you will often see it mixed. So health aside, quinoa is versatile. From fish cakes to breakfast power bars, you can use it in many sweet or savory recipes. With this recipe, I went simple, earthy and seasonal–a healthy summer succotash. I used fresh corn, leeks, roasted poblanos and a touch of Cotija cheese. This vegetarian dish works great on its own, and you can also serve it alongside just about anything from fish to meat.
Quinoa, Corn And Roasted Poblano Succotash
- 1 cup whole grain quinoa, cooked per package instructions
- 3 poblano peppers, cut in half and deseeded
- 2 tablespoon Extra Virgin olive oil
- 1 leek, white and pale green parts, thinly sliced
- 3 ears of corn, kernels removed
- 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1/3 cup Cotija cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup micro cilantro, for garnish
- Step 1 Place cooked quinoa in a large mixing bowl and cover to keep warm.
- Step 2 Turn the oven onto broil. Place the poblano peppers cut side down on a baking sheet and place on the top rack and broil until the skin is blistered and blackened, about 8 minutes (keep a watchful eye). Remove from the oven and place in a small bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to sit for about 10 minutes.
- Step 3 Remove the charred peppers form the bowl and using your hands or a paring knife, remove the charred skin. and discard. Place the roasted poblanos onto a cutting board and roughly chop. Set aside.
- Step 4 Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and when hot but not smoking, add the leeks, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Sauté for about 4 minutes until fragrant.
- Step 5 Add the corn kernels and cook for about 2 minutes until bright yellow. Add the scallions, garlic, cumin and chopped poblano peppers and cook 30 seconds longer.
- Step 6 Add the corn-poblano mixture to the cooked quinoa. Add the lime juice and an additional 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Mix well to incorporate.
- Step 7 Serve in a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with the Cotija cheese and micro cilantro on top. Serve warm.