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Over the weekend I posted about the giant pot of black beans I made. I also made a big pot of quinoa but the process is infinitely less exciting. Anyway, turns out that when you make food, you are supposed to actually eat it! Thus this week I have been trying to think up/find some delicious healthy recipes for black beans and quinoa.

I use Pinterest for these kinds of things a lot. It’s a great medium for finding recipe recommendations, so it is a go to for new ideas. When I thought of black beans & quinoa I automatically thought of a recipe that was all over the place on Pinterest a few weeks ago. The Superfood Salad. It was one I’d wanted to try for a while so I was happy to finally give myself the opportunity.

The thing is, I had been thinking about making this for so long that I thought I had the recipe memorized. I was wrong. First of all, I used mango instead of oranges. I left out the shrimp and corn. There were probably some other differences too. So basically I only remembered 4 ingredients and went with them!

Still, it turned out deliciously and was easy to make.

Quinoa Mango Salad

The recipe (my version!) was absurdly easy:

Quinoa Mango Salad

  • 1/2 Cup Quinoa
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Black Beans (see previous post)
  • 1 Small Avocado
  • 1 Cup Diced Mango
  • 1/4 Pomegranate Arils
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Vinaigrette

Dressing:

  • Lemon Juice from 1 Lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons EEOV
  • 1/2 inch Ginger
  • Pinch Salt
  • Pinch Pepper
  • Put in small mason jar, shake, refrigerate extra

First, to cook the quinoa, you can either cook a whole bunch to store away or just make the amount for this recipe. Add the quinoa, 1/2 tablespoon of oil, and then water at a 2:1 ratio. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook until there is no water left (about 15 minutes). Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Set aside to let it cool while you chop everything else.

Chop avocado and mango, and prepare dressing. I buy the pomegranate arils at Trader Joe’s already pulled from the fruit, but if you buy the whole fruit, extract the arils.

Put all ingredients in a bowl. Mix if you want. Cover with 1 tablespoon dressing. Eat. Enjoy!

Note: This is a very large helping and was almost too much for me. Also if you haven’t noticed yet I love avocado so you could put in less if you want!

Another recipe I wanted to try, came from my imagination. Lately I have been really missing my beloved Mexican food. So, I decided to try and make something reminiscent, using the ingredients that are allowed in my diet and are already in my fridge. The result was a combination of taco salad and the superfood mix listed above.

Mexican-Style Power Salad

This salad was really good and insanely filling. The mix of quinoa, black beans and corn provides a a perfect protein, meaning it contains all of the necessary amino acids the body needs. Normally it is difficult to get all of these at once in a vegan diet. In my Mexican craving I broke down and added some reduced fat shredded cheese to the salad, but honestly I think it was unnecessary and I would probably keep it off next time. That’s right, I’d rather NOT have the cheese next time. This is what we call personal growth, ladies and gentleman!!

Mexican-Style Power Salad

  • 2 Handfuls Romaine Lettuce, chopped
  • 1/3 Cup Quinoa
  • 1/2 Cup Black Beans
  • 1/2 Cup Corn
  • 1/4 Cup Shredded “Mexican Mix” Reduced Fat Cheese (Optional)
  • 1/2 Medium Tomato, chopped
  • 1 small Avocado (or 1/2 a large one)
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Red Onion
  • Couple dashes of cayenne pepper (optional)

I thought about adding a lime vinaigrette (olive oil, lime juice, cayenne, salt) but I honestly think this salad worked better without it. These flavors are strong and blend together well, and if your avocado is ripe enough, it should be creamy and oily enough to seem like dressing, especially mixed with juice from the beans and the tomato.

I’ll be honest. Despite the fact that I could have done without the cheese on this salad, it didn’t take away my craving for some creamy saturated fat filled cheese sauce over a deep fried chimichanga. But now that I really think about it, even imagining eating that makes me feel tired and greasy, which is not a feeling I enjoy too much. So I think if I can just work past the cravings, and keep finding ways to substitute and compromise, I should be in good shape! (Pun definitely intended.)

-lj

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