Healthy Eating: Black Beans, Quinoa, and Broccoli

black beans, broccoli, and rice

Black beans, quinoa, and broccoli is one of my family’s favorite healthy dinners! I love that it is super easy to put together. I cook black beans in my slow cooker (soak them for 12 hours, rinse them, and put them in with enough fresh water to cover them plus maybe half an inch of water), steam the broccoli, and cook one cup of quinoa with one and a half cups of chicken broth (water works, too). Sometimes we add a little bit of sharp cheddar cheese (especially if the quinoa is cooked in water), but my kids will eat it like this as well. It’s a dinner that even seven-month-old Anna can eat! Goya sent me the quinoa that I used for this particular dinner – the black beans are also from Goya, but I bought them (and the broccoli) myself.

What are your favorite healthy family meals?

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

29 thoughts on “Healthy Eating: Black Beans, Quinoa, and Broccoli”

  1. Oh, that looks very very good! We are chicken eaters around these parts, so it would be chicken, brown rice and broccoli. When I’m not lazy, I will make them a salad. :)

    1. Johnny doesn’t love it, but there are very few things Johnny loves. Luckily black beans are one of them! The girls eat pretty much anything, which is wonderful!

  2. Yes, very good eaters! I am wondering how/if you season the beans.

    My daughter loves veggies but my son is picky. I just put a little on his plate. Maybe his taste will change eventually.

    1. We use salt always for the beans, and sometimes I add in a little bit of cumin. I also make black bean soup, and I will add broccoli to that sometimes, and sometimes orange juice! My kids don’t like spicy stuff, but salsa is another thing you could easily add, as well as avocado.

  3. I made lentils with onions, lemon, and honey twice this week and found it super delicious. I served it over spring greens one night like a warm salad and added brown rice the other night. Quinoa would have been good too.

  4. J will eat many raw veggies. We just have to set the example (and cut them up – my least favorite thing to do is prep). Brown rice is our family staple. I recently found a decent sized bag at our Costco. J frequently requests rice and chicken.

  5. Varya @ littleartists

    I often make dhal (Indian lentils) but without it being spicy. I use pressure cooker so it is fast. Plus I like to make Ghormeh Sabzi (Persian Herb Stew – I blogged about it) which my 4 year old will eat despite the sour-ish taste!

  6. My kids would eat this, but only if the broccoli was raw. I’ve finally wrapped my head around the fact that they think cooking vegetables makes them inedible, but they are perfectly happy to eat them raw…

  7. I’m impressed…this is one VERY healthy meal!
    My kids are still learning how to love quinoa!
    We eat loads and loads of fresh fruits and veggies!
    (That’s our healthy meal)

  8. Yum! I love quinoa! We all love fresh green beans so I try to cook them as much as possible. At least my kids like some kind of green!

  9. Elisa | blissfulE

    Yum! I have been adding whey (from making homemade ricotta) when I cook black beans, which gives an extra heartiness. I also love adding whey to lentil recipes.

      1. Elisa | blissfulE

        I’m so sorry I took so long to reply! Making ricotta is easy. You gently heat milk while stirring until it’s 90C (194F), then add white vinegar and stir it in thoroughly. The ratio I use is 1/4 cup vinegar to 2 quarts milk (or 2L milk). I always use full-fat milk, but I think you can do it with skim or part skim as well. If your liquid is still white, add more vinegar. Then strain it through cheesecloth or other thin cloth, and be sure to catch the whey. :)

  10. Black beans go over really well in our house too! My son loves anything that has beans in it, particularly Mexican flavored foods – tacos, burritos, etc. Quinoa is a little tougher for my kiddos but my husband and I love to do a “fried rice” version of quinoa with lots of veggies. One of our favorite healthy meals is jerk chickpea tacos with a cilantro-lime coleslaw, avocados and tomatoes on soft corn tortillas – yum!

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