Roasted Red Pepper, Black Bean & Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Roasted Red Pepper, Black Bean & Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Leftover quinoa in the fridge? This one is for you. 😊

I recently bought a bag full of quinoa because I wanted to try my hand at popping it (like popcorn). Popped quinoa is something that was sold roadside and in artisan markets when I visited northern Chile. It was a novelty for me — though I had eaten plenty of quinoa before, and knew it was local to the Andean region, seeing it puffed was different. Think puffed rice, but round, smaller, and with a delicious nutty flavor.

I tried two methods for popping the grains (one stove top, one in the microwave) and neither produced the results I was looking for. The final product was like a toasted quinoa seed, which was crunchy and nutty and great on yogurt. But it wasn’t a “pop” or a “puff” by any standard. Have you popped quinoa? How did you do it? Do I need an air popper? I have dreams of a chocolate almond butter granola bar with puffed quinoa and need your help!!

On the bright side: these experiments have meant I’ve had plenty of quinoa in the pantry.

Roasted Red Pepper, Black Bean & Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Roasted Red Pepper, Black Bean & Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Roasted Red Pepper, Black Bean & Quinoa Breakfast Bowls have been the highlight of my quinoa-filled week.

They are an “oooooh, yummy” and also “oh that looks nourishing” kind of dish, at the same time.

Making these in the morning is easiest when you have leftover quinoa and already cooked (or canned) black beans to start with. You can totally cook up a fresh batch to make these bowls, but using leftovers makes this easy, and easy mornings = good. Next time you’re making quinoa, make extra with tomorrow’s breakfast in mind.

Then, all you have to do is sauté the bell peppers (doing this over low heat, with a pinch of patience, yields pepper strips that are almost caramelized… 😍 though in a rush, you can crank the heat and char the peppers a bit — just don’t burn the kitchen down - and get something more savory), fry an egg or two, and top with avocado.

Something else I love about this breakfast bowl is that it starts with 3 extremely simple ingredients: grains, beans, and eggs. The basics really can “wow!”

Last comment before the recipe — Is quinoa a grain or a seed? And what’s all this talk about “pseudocereal?” Well… first, you may be interested in this article covering the difference between a grain and a seed (it’s not a huge difference, and has to do with the coating on the seed). A pseudocereal is a crop that is not a grass grain but is used like one. Which is exactly how we tend to think of quinoa, even though it is not a grass grain! SO: Yes, quinoa is a seed. It’s used like a grain, making it a “pseudocereal.” Now that we have that bit of business covered…. Let’s eat!

Roasted Red Pepper, Black Bean & Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Roasted Red Pepper, Black Bean & Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Published January 24, 2019 by
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Serves: 2   |    Active Time: 20 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or other cooking oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced in strips
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, warmed
  • 1/2 cup black beans, canned or pre-cooked and strained, warmed
  • For serving: salt & pepper, sliced avocado, minced cilantro, lime wedges

  • Directions:

    1. Divide quinoa and black beans between two serving bowls.
    2. Cook the peppers: Heat cooking oil in a skillet over medium heat. When the oil glistens, tilt the pan back and forth to coat it in oil. Place red peppers in pan, and sauté, stirring every 2-3 minutes, until peppers are soft and edges are browning. Transfer peppers to serving bowls.
    3. If your pan is dry, add a bit more oil. Crack the eggs into the pan, one at a time, and reduce heat to low. Cook until whites are completely set and yolks have reached your desired doneness. Use a spatula to transfer eggs to serving bowls.
    4. Top each bowl with salt & pepper to taste, sliced avocado, minced cilantro, and a lime wedge. Serve warm.

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    Goat Cheese & Chive Scrambled Eggs

    Goat Cheese & Chive Scrambled Eggs

    Adding goat cheese crumbles to scrambled eggs takes about two additional seconds but adds so much creamy cheesy flavor.

    While I normally opt for eggs over easy these days, scrambled eggs were probably the first thing I ever learned to cook myself, and that alone made them one of my favorite foods as a kid. (I would scramble and egg in the microwave on slow weekends when my mom would ask, “Are you going to eat breakfast today?")

    That version didn’t call for goat cheese (and I don’t think twenty-years-ago Caitlin would’ve appreciated the addition), but goat cheese adds pockets of creaminess that are out of this world.

    Goat Cheese & Chive Scrambled Eggs
    Goat Cheese & Chive Scrambled Eggs

    Chives and goat cheese are a classic combo. Chives add a delicate onion-garlic flavor that is just zippy enough to give creamy goat cheese some extra life. Chives are one of the first plants in the garden that turns green come spring, making this breakfast a perfect early spring kind of dish.

    I happened to also be cooking up a batch of creamy Icelandic Langoustine Soup, and had some extra chives to burn. I hate buying a bunch of herbs and only using half, leaving the other half to wither in the fridge… though, that ends up being the fate of many MANY bunches of herbs in our fridge. Sound familiar? Well, there are LOTS of ways to use up chives, including this recipe! Here are a few more to help you finish off that bunch: Crustless Quiche Lorraine (a reader fave!), Sweet Potato Chive Hash Brown Waffles, or Garlic and Herb Shrimp with Vine Ripe Tomatoes. You could basically build a whole week’s meal plan around a bunch of chives!

    We served these eggs with a side of roasted sweet potatoes, but sautéd veggies would also be delish!

    Goat Cheese & Chive Scrambled Eggs
    Goat Cheese & Chive Scrambled Eggs

    Goat Cheese & Chive Scrambled Eggs

    Published January 17, 2018 by
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    Serves: 2   |    Active Time: 20 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons goat cheese crumbles, plus more for topping
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more for topping to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil, such as coconut or avocado
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives, plus more for garnish 

  • Directions:

    1. Crack all four eggs into a mixing bowl. Whisk together until they are frothy and solid yellow. Add goat cheese, salt, and pepper, and whisk to incorporate.
    2. Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Pour egg mixture into skillet. As eggs begin to set (after a few minutes) gently use a spatula to pull eggs across pan, making curds. Add in chives and continue to cook for a few more minutes, occasionally stirring, until all of the egg mixture is set.
    3. Divide among serving plates and sprinkle with extra goat cheese and chives, along with extra black pepper to taste.

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    Chorizo & Egg Breakfast Tacos

    Chorizo & Egg Breakfast Tacos

    It started with a business trip to Texas in 2016. It was my first real business trip. My co-worker (Libby, who is somewhat of an aviation food connoisseur) asked if I wanted to stop by Root Down, a restaurant in the terminal. We got sweet potato fries with curry sauce and I realized that whatever I had previously thought about airport food was wrong. (Fruit cups, low fat yogurt, and granola bars? Move aside!)

    Fast forward to 2017: I’m traveling to Ecuador for a client. I had been on a few business trips since that one to Texas, but none as cool as this one — Ecuador! South America! Hadn’t I graduated with a Spanish Degree just for this?! Going into Marketing I had pretty much thought those international opportunities were behind me. Anyhow, I was on my own, so the world was my oyster and the schedule was whatever I said it was. Which means there was time to stop at Root Down, and breakfast was in order. I sat at a table for one with a view of the tarmac and ordered tacos. In that moment I felt awkward by myself, and took solace in those tacos, taking my sweet time. Each taco was small — made on a 4-inch tortilla - and stuffed with greasy chorizo and fluffy scrambled eggs.

    My next encounter with those tacos was this August. It was 6am as we rode the bus to the airport, and by the time we made it to security our stomachs rumbled for breakfast. It was Oliver’s idea, that day, to stop at Root Down but of course I didn’t protest. We both ordered the tacos and coffee and finally, digging into our breakfast, we were on vacation.

    Chorizo & Egg Breakfast Tacos

    This taco recipe is my home rendition: chorizo crumbles, scrambled eggs, fresh cilantro, tomatoes, and queso fresco. I replaced the pickled red onions with minced fresh red onions that star on Root Down’s menu, because at home it’s easier (and I like the fresh flavor). And added avocado, because we weren’t going to make tacos without avocado.

    When you make these, it might be easier to just cook up an entire pound of chorizo versus the exact amount you need. It will store well in your fridge, and can go into future meals (great in soups!) or make it easier for you to get breakfast going tomorrow. You could also plan to serve a crowd: make a breakfast taco bar!

    Maybe it’s just nostalgia, but these tacos for breakfast feel a bit like a vacation. Enjoy!

    Chorizo & Egg Breakfast Tacos

    Chorizo & Egg Breakfast Tacos

    Published November 8, 2018 by
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    Yield: 3   |    Active Time: 30 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 6 six-inch corn tortillas
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup chorizo crumbles, cooked and heated
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 1/2 an avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 cup queso fresco crumbles
  • 1 tablespoon minced red onion
  • 2 tablespoon minced cilantro
  • Optional: hot sauce of choice, to taste
  • Optional, for serving: lime wedges

  • Directions:

    1. Prep your ingredients first in this recipe, as once the eggs are cooked, you’ll want to immediately start assembling your tacos. So, dice that tomato, slice the avocado, and mince the cilantro and red onion now. Reheat or cook the chorizo.
    2. Warm the tortillas. There are plenty of ways you can get this done: place them in a preheated oven for a few minutes, warm them in a toaster oven, or heat them in a dry skillet. Whatever you do, watch them closely so as to avoid burning them or drying them out too much. Just a few minutes will do.
    3. Now, crack eggs into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper and whisk until they are a creamy yellow color and slightly frothy.
    4. Heat coconut oil over medium heat in a 10-inch skillet. When oil sizzles, pour in eggs. As eggs begin to set (it will take a minute or two), use a wooden spatula, to pull the eggs across the pan, stirring them. Continue until no visible liquid egg white remains, and then move the pan off the heat. (Tip: If there are other things to do or prepare, I sometimes will pull the pan from the heat a little bit early, say 30 seconds, to avoid over cooked eggs. They will continue to cook in the pan until you serve them.)
    5. Assemble tacos: take tortillas out of the toaster, and top each with a heaping tablespoonful of chorizo. Divide egg mixture evenly amongst tortillas, and then top each with diced tomato, a slice of avocado, queso fresco, minced red onion, and cilantro.
    6. Serve hot with hot sauce on the side, and lime wedges if using.

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