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Mexican Quinoa Stew

This week is all about fiber, how fiber can help prevent disease as well as how it may help in our weight loss journey. We did not have a lot of time this week at our weight loss support group to discuss fiber and its many benefits. The discussion was great and lively this week. We discussed phobias regarding workouts as well as judgment from others. Everyone brought great ideas to the table. Next month we will have our fiber discussion as well as continuing the talk we had this week. Hope to see you there!
Quinoa Mexican Stew
1 teaspoon coconut oil (I opted to use 1 tablespoon olive oil instead)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
3 ½ cups water
1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 ½ cups cooked black beans or 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
½ cup quinoa (dry/uncooked)
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (for extra heat, optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
Optional garnishes (my ideas): extra chopped cilantro, small wedges of lime, diced avocado, crumbled tortilla chips, grated cheese, sour cream…
In a medium Dutch oven or soup pot, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and jalapeños. Sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes.
Add the water, tomatoes, beans, cumin, salt, quinoa, cilantro and cayenne pepper (if using). Season with pepper and bring the soup to a boil.
Once boiling, lower the heat, cover the pot, and let the soup simmer until the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Once the quinoa is tender, add more salt and pepper to taste, if necessary. You can serve this soup right away or use an immersion blender to purée a couple cups of this soup—this helps to thicken the soup while still leaving some texture (I may have overdone it a bit).
Divide into bowls and serve with any garnishes that you’d like. Store leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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