Black beans and mandarin oranges? Really? Trust me, it is delicious.
The sauce is perfect for those nights when want something homemade and healthy, but are too tired to cook. All it takes is black beans, mandarin oranges, diced tomatoes and a few spices. You may have all of the ingredients in your pantry right now. If so, try it out tonight!
The spices that I suggest include cinnamon, cloves and soy sauce – however, you can skip the seasoning altogether if you want. The tomatoes and beans combined with the mandarin oranges give the sauce a sweet and savory flavor that is mouthwatering all by itself.
The grain (or seed, if you want to get technical)
The sauce is perfect with any number of grains, including quinoa, rice, and pasta. Just pick your favorite.
However, if you haven’t tried quinoa, I highly recommend it. Until my husband brought home a bag of organic quinoa from Costco two years ago, I had never even heard of it. I wasn’t sure about it, but agreed to give it a try.
Despite being a picky eater, I found that I really enjoyed the slightly nutty flavor of this high-protein grain. We use it all of the time now, often substituting it for rice or pasta.
Instructions on most packages of quinoa say to rinse it before cooking it. Because quinoa seeds are very small, the best tool for rinsing it is a very fine mesh strainer or sieve.
(I must confess that I do not rinse my quinoa from Costco. Having never heard of it, the first time I cooked it, I just followed the instructions on the package, which did not including rinsing it. The quinoa still tasted great. We ate it regularly for months before I even realized that you were supposed to rinse it. That said, when I purchased a different brand of quinoa, and did not rinse it, the flavor was not as good.)
Together, the sauce and the quinoa create a unique, healthy and easy-to-make meal that will have you coming back for seconds. The good news is that you can make extra and have leftovers that, like lasagna, may taste even better the next day. Enjoy!
- 1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
- 1 - 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 - 10.5 oz can mandarin oranges, drained
- 1 - 15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp cloves
- Cook the quinoa per package instructions, and set aside.
- Combine the black beans, mandarin oranges, diced tomatoes, soy sauce, cinnamon and cloves in a saucepan and simmer over medium heat until the oranges begin to break apart when stirred, about 10-15 minutes.
- Pour the sauce over the quinoa and enjoy!