Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner, and while it might be tempting to indulge in margaritas and tacos on the actual day, you can prepare a healthier alternative at home that still has some serious Mexican flare!

The best part about this recipe is that it is extremely versatile! Not a fan of quinoa? Try making it with brown rice, or another ancient grain such as amaranth or millet. Have some leftover vegetables in the refrigerator that you need to use up? Throw those in too! If you want to get fancy, you might consider stuffing the cooked quinoa inside bell peppers. The possibilities are endless!

The key component here is the spice list, which includes cumin, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. All of these spices have anti-inflammatory properties that can aid in alleviating pain, and even ward off illness.

This year, skip the taco bar, and load up on nourishing ingredients, instead!

Mexican Quinoa (Serves 1-2)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil + an extra drizzle
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • ½ pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen sweet corn
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 [additional] teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions, with the vegetable stock and chili powder mixed into the cooking liquid. You may have to adjust the amount of stock you use depending on the specific brand, but you can usually typically add ½ cup to a full cup more than allotted, and cook the quinoa for about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and pepper to the pan, and cook for approximately 5 minutes, until softened. Add the zucchini, tomatoes, corn, garlic, and spices to the pan, and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the cooked quinoa to the vegetable mixture, and combine.
  4. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled. You can’t go wrong with this one!

What’s your favorite Cinco de Mayo recipe?

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