This is really the stuff.  The ingredients are mostly pantry staples so you can save yourself a trip to the store!  I love using quinoa and beans together because they combine really well into an amazingly flavorful and very versatile mush that you can use in tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, a taco salad.  Anything!  It is also jam packed with protein.  Quinoa is a perfect protein (meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids all by itself) and pinto beans which are also high in protein, iron, and trace minerals.  It doesn’t get much better than this folks 😉

Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are some of my favorite things ever.  They are smokey, spicy, and sweetened by the barbecuey adobo sauce.  I like to use them whenever I can in Mexican cuisine.  However, they are pretty spicy and can overwhelm the sensitive.  You can tone down their heat by slicing the peppers open (I suggest wearing gloves for this) and scraping out the seeds and pith with a spoon.  Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce come in small cans (a little goes a long way with these) and can be found in most grocery stores in the Mexican food aisle near the salsas and other canned chili peppers.  After using them, put them in an air tight tupperware and they keep in fridge for months.

Let’s get started.


  • 1/2 cup Quinoa – red or white. I mixed the two for this recipe. Just for fun because it looks cool.
  • 1 cups water or light vegetable broth

    Red and White Quinoa Mix

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced – about 1.5-2 cups
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce – seeded if you’re a baby – minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon adobo sauce from the canned peppers
  • 1 tablespoon tamari, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt – or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper – to taste
  • 1 15oz can or 1.5 cups cooked pinto beans.  I cooked mine in the pressure cooker because I’m a thrifty motherlover.
    Spice of Life

    The Spice of Life!


  1. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander.  This is important as it removes quinoa’s natural coating, saponin, which if left intact will make the quinoa taste bitter and potentially upset your stomach.
  2. Place the quinoa and the water/vegetable broth in a small pot fitted with a lid and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce heat to low and allow to simmer with lid on for about 15-20 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed.  Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a deep sided skillet on medium high heat.  Add the cumin seeds.  When they sizzle, add the onions and fry until slightly browned.
  4. Add the garlic, chili powder, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce,tamari, and tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly for about 1 minute or until a fragrant paste has formed.
  5. Add the pinto beans, salt, and pepper, stirring to coat.  Turn the heat to medium and allow beans to absorb the flavors.
  6. Add the quinoa and stir to combine.
  7. Taste and adjust salt or tamari to your liking.
  8. Serve warm with any Suggested Garnishes.


  • Cilantro
  • Avocado
  • Chopped tomato
  • Chopped red onion
  • Black olives
  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Vegan sour cream
  • Corn kernels
  • Hominy




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