Friday, January 24

Mexibowls - a dinner of firsts!

Last night I decided to try a delicious-looking recipe for a 'mexibowl' which I found here on Vegan Eats and Treats (the second one).

As shocking as it may sound for me to admit this, this was the first time I had ever cooked quinoa (apart from an instant packet one once) and it was the first time I ever cooked using dried beans. Yes, I know! How have I got to this stage in my life and never done either of those things? The answer is because I was scared. I was scared that it would be too hard, it would take too long, and I might mess it up.

To cook the quinoa, I found some great instructions at The Kitchn and followed them religiously! I cooked it in Massal Chicken Stock (which is vegan, obviously), and it was the best quinoa I've ever had! I could have eaten a whole bowl of it just by itself.

I was planning on just using a tin of black beans, as suggested in the recipe, but I couldn't find them anywhere, tinned or otherwise! After having a look online, it seems that tinned black beans are near impossible to get in Australia, and dried ones are hard to find as well. After looking around a couple of supermarkets, I instead settled for dried adjuki beans (also known as azuki beans). Having never cooked with dried beans before, I thought it would be a really drawn out experience, but after researching how best to cook them, everything fell into place.

After soaking the beans for 2 hours (and going away and reading), I boiled them for an hour (and read some more), then just cooked the rest of dinner as if I were using tinned beans. It was so much easier than I had imagined. I mean, yes it does take more time, but when I'm home anyway, it doesn't inconvenience me at all.

After years of avoiding cooking with these two very popular foods, I now don't know what I was so afraid of! Dinner was delicious and I will definitely be cooking quinoa again, and using dried beans!

PS - another first: the recipe suggests using lime juice in the guacamole, I've never done this before so I tried it and it was yummy.

Happy eating! :)

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