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


  • 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.


    Paleo Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Bisque

    If you follow the paleo diet, and you ever get a cold, someone will probably ask you: "I thought you ate healthy? But you still get sick?" as if you could have prevented getting sick. The saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" bares some truth: your body's number one source of nutrients is the food it eats! But let's get real: those nutrients are used to make your immune system strong, not invincible. Having a strong immune system doesn't mean you'll never get sick, it simply means that when you do, your body will be well equipped for the battle. 

    It seems like the older I become, the less tolerant I am of being under the weather. I spent most of high school with a stuffy nose and fluid in my lungs--my doctor eventually called it "seasonal asthma", even though it was far from it. I was just sick, and couldn't get over it. My body was overworked, not getting enough nutrients, and never had the energy to fully stamp out a cold. In fact, my immune system was likely too weak to fight off that cold over the course of a few days. I had other things going on, and really couldn't be bothered to take it easy anyways. A cold was not going to stop me from accomplishing my agenda. 

    I still have a hard time "taking it easy" when I'm under the weather, determined to live out my plans, runny nose, sneezes and all. I complain about it a bit more, and I make soup--no matter the weather.

    Last week, I came down with a cold. The spring in my step was gone, but thankfully my now well-equipped immune system fought it off in only a few days. My Healing Lemongrass Soup was on the menu, even though we had a straight week of bright and sunny weather for the first time all year. This Paleo Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Bisque would have been perfect, as it's bursting with vitamin C, and showcases warm-weather produce. Garden-fresh tomatoes taste best in this soup, as their flavor really shines through. Home-grown tomatoes are only available at the end of summer around here, but my stepmother froze a big bag of vine-ripe heirloom tomatoes last September, and I pulled them out to make this soup. It's like a splash of sunshine in a bowl! Roasted red peppers add a tangy sweetness to the soup, while coconut milk makes it rich and creamy. 

    Paleo Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Bisque

    Serves 2

    24 ounces ripe tomatoes, diced

    2 bell peppers

    1 teaspoon coconut oil

    4 cloves garlic

    1 1/2 cup broth

    3/4 cup full-fat canned coconut milk

    Salt & Pepper

    Optional: Red pepper flakes, kalamata olives, and coconut milk for garnish


    1. In a small soup pot, heat the coconut oil. Mince the garlic, and toss it into the pot. Sauté until golden. 

    2. Slice the bell peppers in half, and remove the seeds and stems. Place them, skin-side up on a cookie sheet and place in the oven. Turn the oven to a low broil. Broil the peppers for 5-10 minutes (depends on your oven) until the skin of the peppers is charred. Remove from oven and place peppers in a bowl immediately (use tongs, they'll be hot!). Lay a a cloth towel over the bowl. This will trap moisture in the bowl, so that you can remove the charred skin. 

    3. While the peppers cool, put the diced tomatoes and broth in the pot. Cover, and bring to a simmer. 

    4. Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, work with one at a time to peel off the blackened skin. Some char will add flavor, but leaving all of it will overwhelm the soup. Discard the blackened bits, and chop the remaining meat of the pepper. Add it to the soup pot. 

    5. When the tomatoes are softened through, dump the entire soup in a blender. Add the coconut milk. Blend on high until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, a drizzle of coconut milk, or some minced olives.