I really am all about the Tex-Mex this week, and this dinner was no different. One of my favorite combinations is quinoa with corn and zucchini. Often, I make it with goat cheese and basil and it is a light dish perfect for a hot summer evening. This time, I wanted to try something a little different and found a Southwest version using the same main ingredients. It turned out delicious and brought out a completely different flavor profile than my usual.
Southwest Zucchini and Corn Quinoa
1/2 batch taco seasoning (see below)
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
3 ears of corn
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
3/4 cup queso blanco, crumbled
First, mix the taco seasoning, water, and quinoa in a medium sauce pan and bring to a rapid boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes until the water is absorbed, the quinoa is tender, and the little white spirals show. Fluff with a fork and keep covered until ready to serve.
Meanwhile, cut the corn kernels off the cob and saute with the zucchini and jalapeño in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat. Saute until everything has softened a bit (about 7 minutes).
This corn is so sweet and creamy! Hard to beat.
To serve, put 1/4 cup of quinoa in a bowl, top with 1/4 of the veggies, a handful of cheese and 1/4 of the cilantro. So delicious and just spicy enough!
Also adapted from Closet Cooking
Mix together the following in a small bowl.
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Note: The original quinoa recipe calls for (and I used) a full batch of taco seasoning to be cooked with the quinoa. I think 1/2 to 3/4 of a batch would be better…it got a little gritty with all these spices. Plus, I like the taste of quinoa and couldn’t taste it at all with the full batch used. To add some extra heat, you could always use a hotter pepper in the saute, another jalapeño, or even some cayenne. Yum!