Try Quinoa, Black Beans, Corn and Zucchini for Hanukkah

In keeping with my quest to find fresh new ideas incorporating whole grains and giving a “twist” to the classics, I created this recipe using quinoa, black beans, corn and zucchini. This easy, savory dish redress can be used instead of kasha, the typical side dish served with brisket, during Hanukkah’s eight- day celebration and throughout the year.

Quinoa is a healthy alternative to rice, kasha and potatoes. It is low in saturated fat and sugar, and high in dietary fiber, manganese (good for bone health) and magnesium, and very high in vitamin B6. Quinoa also has no cholesterol.

Quinoa with Black Beans, Corn and Zucchini
Yield: 4 servings

1 cup quinoa, well rinsed
2 ½ cups water
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup corn kernels
1 medium-diced zucchini


  • Place quinoa and 2 cups of the water in a sauce pan; set over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa is water-free and fluffy. Remove from heat, and set aside.
  • Place black beans, ½ cup of water, soy sauce and vinegar in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, and reduce to about ½ cup. Remove from heat, and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in large skillet. Add garlic, then zucchini and corn; sauté until vegetables caramelize. Remove from heat.
  • Place quinoa in large bowl, and fluff with fork. Add sauce (black bean mixture) and the sautéed vegetables; mix together.
  • Toss together.
  • Garnish with a cilantro lime pesto that can be purchased at the grocery store. if you prefer to prepare from scratch see the recipe below.

Cilantro Lime Pesto:


1 cup packed cilantro
1/2 cup packed parsley
1/4 cup walnuts
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 tablespoons lime juice


  • Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse to smooth.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

With its “Southwestern” kick, quinoa works well as a side dish alongside grilled meats, chicken or fish. It’s also satisfying enough to work as the main component of a vegetarian meal.

This dish can be served warm or at room temperature; so it is easy to take on a trip for a group “potluck” dinner!

Bon Appétit!

Nutritional information:  Quinoa: calories: 412; calories from fat: 94; total fat: 10.4g; saturated fat: 1.5g; cholesterol: 0mg; sodium: 465 mg; total carbohydrates: 64.5; dietary fiber: 11.5g; sugars: 3.0g; protein 18.1g;  Cilantro Lime Pesto: Calories: 2.81; fat: .20gms; cholesterol: 8 g; carbohydrates: .03g; protein: .156 g.


Chef-Bob-Gilardi-Headshot-Final-203x300ABOUT CHEF BOB
Chef Bob Gilardi is the executive chef and chief operations manager at Doctors Hospital.  A well-renown chef, Chef Bob recently celebrated his 29th year with Baptist Health South Florida. Previously, he served as the executive sous chef at Hyatt Hotels and as the sauté and saucier cook at Chez Vendome French Restaurant in the David Wiliams Hotel in Coral Gables. Chef Bob graduated from Miami Dade College and Florida International University School of Hospitality Management.


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