A Pinto Bean and Quinoa Pairing You’ll Never Guess

Are you always on the prowl for creative ways to sneak natural fiber rich foods past your kids?

Last week my wife made Pinto Bean and Quinoa Sloppy Joes. Yes, you’re reading this correct, pinto beans and quinoa instead of burger and Manwich.

On a score of 1-10 I’d give them an 8. The sandwiches were wonderful as long as you didn’t expect them to taste or look exactly like Sloppy Joes.

If your family members are tough customers when it comes to cuisine adventures, just don’t call the sandwiches Sloppy Joes. Or, maybe for the first couple times you could hide the filling under their favorite sandwich fixings, healthful or not.

Pinto Bean and Quinoa Sloppy Joes
Serves: 4 to 6

• 1/2 cup raw quinoa, rinsed
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 medium onion, minced
• 1/2 medium green bell pepper, finely diced
• 15- to 16-ounce can pinto or red beans,
drained, rinsed, and coarsely mashed (or 1 1/2 cups cooked)
• 1 cup tomato sauce
• 1 medium tomato, finely diced
• 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari
• 1 teaspoon agave nectar or natural granulated sugar
• 1 teaspoon chili powder, or more, to taste
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro, plus more for topping, optional
• Shredded lettuce or baby spinach leaves
• 6 whole grain rolls, English muffins, or mini-pitas

Combine the quinoa with 1-cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a slow boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the bell pepper and sauté until both are golden.

Add the remaining ingredients except the last two, and bring to a gentle simmer.

Cook over medium-low heat, loosely covered, for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let the skillet stand off the heat for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle further and for the quinoa to absorb the tomatoey flavors.

For each serving, spoon some of the filling onto the bottoms of whole-grain rolls and cover with the tops. Or, you can serve these open-faced.

Recipe courtesy of VegKitchen.com

This is a great high-fiber dinner that you can get on the table in under an hour. Let me know what you think.


Dan Braun

Dan Braun is General Manager at Full Plate Living who isn’t ashamed to admit he takes great pleasure in tricking his kids into eating healthier. In his free time Dan enjoys mountain biking and dunking on the 7 ft rim with his family.

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