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Quinoa and Bean Pilaf

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tsp of kosher salt, divided
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup cheddar or pepper jack cheese
2 bell peppers – 1 red, 1 green cut into 1/2 inch strips
3 green onions, sliced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
4 cups baby spinach
2 15-ounce cans of black and/or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups water

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers, green onion whites and celery. Cook and stir until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, cayenne pepper and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook, stirring often, until the tomato paste turns brick red, about 12 minutes. Stir in quinoa, add water and beans. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until most of the water is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Add up to a 1/4 cup more water if necessary.

Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the spinach until just wilted. Stir in 1/2 tsp salt and half of the green onion greens and cheese. Divide among bowls and sprinkle with the remaining green onion greens and cheese. Serve with hot sauce.

Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition per serving: 394 calories, 16g protein, 53g carbohydrates, 724mg sodium, 15g fat

Source: Food Network Magazine

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