July 2, 2012

Pin It Grilled Corn and Pepper Jack Quinoa

Inspired by How Sweet It Is

Week 27

We all know by now that recipes that look inherently easy are things I gravitate towards, especially on a Monday. It's not like I really have anything else I need to be doing besides stocking my fridge for the week, but I never feel like cooking on Monday's. When I saw this recipe and how few ingredients it had (but cheese was still one of them, yum) I knew this was something I could probably handle. I'm sure this would be even more delicious if you have a grill and can cook the corn that way, but the oven works just fine if you are an apartment dweller like me. 

Here is what I used:

Ingredients (serves 4-6)
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 ears of sweet corn, grilled
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 cups pepper jack cheese, freshly grated
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Preheat your grill on the highest setting. Shuck corn ears and brush each with olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Wrap each in a square of aluminum foil so there is one layer cover the corn. Grill for about 5 minutes each side, rotating corn 4-5 times during grilling.

You can also cook your corn in the oven (what I did). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place corn husks directly on the oven rack and roast for 30 minutes or until corn is soft. I rotated them about half way through.

Once corn has cooled, cut the kernels off the cob.

While corn is cooking, add quinoa and chicken stock to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, cover and let cook for 15-18 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Immediately stir in butter, cheese and remaining salt and pepper. Add in corn and stir to combine, then top with a bit of fresh cilantro.

Oven "grilled" corn.
First time cooking corn, I did it!
Mixing butter and cheese into the cooked quinoa.
Adding corn to the mix.
Topped with cilantro and ready to eat, yum!
This was goo-ood. It was very simple but filling and delicious.  I used pepper jack cheese instead of cheddar like the original recipe used, but that was really more out of convenience than anything else (Trader Joe's has pre-shredded pepper jack). I also thought it would go well with the corn and cilantro, kind of a southwest-y flavor combo. It was actually a little spicy for me (because I'm a total weenie when it comes to spicy food) but for the normal person, I'm sure a little hot sauce would be a nice addition.

The great thing about quinoa is that it really is a blank slate.  You can add whatever you want in whatever quantities you want. It is just a great base for any meal. Plus it's so good for you!  In 1/4 cup of uncooked quinoa you get all the the following (of your suggested daily value):

58%  manganese
31%  tryptophan
30%  magnesium
28%  phosphorus
19%  fiber
19%  folate
18%  copper
16%  protein (8g)
15%  iron
For more quinoa benefits and info, click here and here.

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