I love a good cornbread straight from the oven with generous chunks of spicy jalapeno and a warm pat of melting butter (I mean, who doesn't right?) but lately I've had visions of plump, juicy black beans tossed into the mix.
I've been imagining these perky fibre-rich fellows dotting the muffin tops for months now - some dipping below the surface some dancing on top - and finally had an opportunity to act out my fantasy ;0).
And since I was busy transforming, I decided to amp things up further by pairing the lovely coarse texture of cornmeal with another full-bodied big boy in the form of the nutty quinoa seed.
I tell you it was like discovering a couple of long lost family members.
Where have you been all my life?
So happy with the result. These muffins not only taste delish they are also packed full of nutrients to the point of being a mini-meal. Perfect on their own as a hearty snack (great grab-n-go) or for dunking in soups, stews and chilis.
Unlike many other bready things that will send insulin levels surging, enhance sugar cravings and efficiently store body fat (three for the price of one!), these little puppies pack over 10 grams of protein and 4.9 grams of fibre in every serving keeping them low on the glycemic index, which in turn helps keep our blood sugar levels stable, our tummies satisfied and our moods humming along happily.
A beautiful thing!
Quinoa Cornbread with Black Beans, Arugula and Parmesan
Serving: Makes 12 regular sized muffins
Quinoa increases about 4 times in volume when cooked. A 1/2 cup of dry quinoa should generate about 2 cups of cooked quinoa. I used 1 cup of dry when preparing this recipe to create leftovers for quinoa salad. Simply pop leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
If heat is not your thing, simply skip the jalapeno pepper and add another tablespoon of minced arugula if you wish. I like using fresh jalapeno peppers but you could equally use bottled and sliced jalapeno peppers here.
Heat oven to 375 F
Cook quinoa according to package directions (generally 1:2 ratio quinoa to water) and allow the cooked quinoa to cool.
In a large bowl combine cooked and cooled quinoa, cornmeal, Parmesan cheese, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and arugula stirring to combine. Add 3/4 cup black beans (reserving the other 1/4 cup for topping) and stir gently to combine taking care not to mash the beans.
In a separate bowl lightly beat eggs and whisk in milk, jalapeno peppers and olive oil.
Add wet ingredients to dry mixing only until combined.
Divide batter among 12 gently oiled muffin cups (I like to use silicone liners). Top each muffin with a few more black beans and some additional pieces of torn arugula.
Place quinoa cornmeal muffins in oven and bake for 18-20 or until firm to the touch and golden brown.
Allow muffins to cool (slightly ;o) before unmoulding - enjoy!