Mexican-Style Quinoa with Pulled Pork

Where did January go? And why does it seem that it felt like the end of winter and the beginning of spring? Because, you know, it’s not. We still have more than a month before spring is here.

Mexican-Style Quinoa with Pulled Pork

Since winter is still here (and we started to feel it again last weekend — so long balmy, rainy days, welcome back snow, wind and ice), we may as well make the best of it. Enjoy the Sunday afternoon skating, the marshmallows atop the hot chocolate and the stick-to-your-ribs and warming meals while we can. Soon enough, we’ll be sitting poolside sipping icy-cold beverages.

In our household, quinoa has always been more integral to our summer menu rather than winter until we tried this dish. Easy and flexible, once in the pan this flavourful quinoa requires only a little attention. And it’s so good that Katie even taught herself to use a spoon while eating it.

So winter, game on – we’re ready for you!

Mexican-style Quinoa with Pulled Pork

inspired by Cheesy Tex-Mex Rice on The Kitchn
(serves 6)

  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup uncooked red quinoa
  • 1/2 medium spanish onion, chopped finely
  • 1/2 orange pepper, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups tomato passata
  • 1 1/2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 1/2 cups smoked pulled pork
  • 3 tsp sweet paprika (+ additional to taste)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin (+ additional to taste)
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp finely chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • corn or wheat tortillas, shredded cheese, chopped lettuce, sour cream and chopped tomatoes (optional)

Prepare the quinoa by bringing the broth to a boil in a saucepan. Add the quinoa and simmer on medium-low, covered, for 15 min or so. The broth should be absorbed and the quinoa grains should be translucent and have little white rings.  Fluff the quinoa with a fork and set it aside to cool slightly.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Fry the onions, pepper and garlic until golden. Add the quinoa, cheese, tomatoes, corn, pulled pork and seasonings. Stir until well combined. Continue to cook on medium to medium-high heat for approximately 30 minutes, stirring every 5-7 minutes (5 minutes if the mixture is sticking too much; 7 if not – you will want it to be sticking slightly though). Add additional quantities of paprika and cumin as well as salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm on its own or wrapped in tortillas with additional cheese, tomatoes, sour cream and lettuce. Refrigerates and reheats well.

Tips and Suggestions:

  • Add 1/2 cup of red wine to the tomatoes in place of the sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Prefer golden or black quinoa? Use either in place of the red quinoa. And if it’s leftover quinoa, all the better. It’s ready and waiting to be a part of something delicious.
  • Don’t have smoked pulled pork? Substitute shredded BBQ chicken.

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