Thursday, February 23, 2012

Black Bean Quinoa Salad, Non Sequiturs, and Blonde Moment Admissions

I spent an hour this morning strolling through Trader Joe's, shopping for an event tomorrow...  That's when I realized I hadn't yet publicly confessed to my love of quinoa.  Yes, I realize that is a non sequitur.  I had an explanation at the time, but well, now I forget what it was.  ANYWHO, quinoa ((pronounced keen-wa)) is technically an ancient cereal grain which is high in protein and other stuff that's good for you.   It's become much more popular recently and can now be found in places like Target.  It's kind of like rice, but not really.  I'm at a loss how to better describe it though for the uninitiated.  Just trust me on this one.

One of my favorite ways to make quinoa is in a Black Bean Quinoa Salad.

So pretty.


Here's what you need: ((4 servings))

1 cup quinoa ((rinsed thoroughly under cold water))
2 cups of water
1 cup of black beans ((rinsed and drained))
1 tomato ((diced))
4 tablespoons green chiles ((roasted and diced or you can buy it prepared, no judging))
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Cilantro  ((the more the better))
EVOO which means extra virgin olive oil ((just a drizzle))
Sea salt
2 tablespoons feta cheese crumbles

To prepare the quinoa:  Measure out the desired amount and rinse it thoroughly using a very small mesh sieve/strainer.  These little bastards are *really* small, and you will lose all of them if you try to use a regular strainer.  ((No, I didn't do that the first time without thinking it through because I'm blonde.  Nope.))  Throw them in a small pot and add water according to the package directions.  Bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until all of the water is absorbed and they are "sprouted."  About 10 or so minutes.  It should look like this when it is done.

See the little shoots?  That means it is done.

While that is cooking, chop up all of the fresh ingredients and rinse the black beans.

Fresh cilantro
Key limes

Throw all of that into a plastic bowl.  Add the quinoa and then give it just a really, really, really light drizzle of olive oil.  Squeeze the limes into it and give it a few cracks of sea salt.  Put the lid on your bowl and shake the beejeezus out of it.  ((Yes, this is technical, I know.))  Top it with the feta and done!
Mmmmm.  Quinoa.  

There are tons of different ways to modify this...  Leave out the green chiles and use a diced jalapeno.  Add sliced avocado.  Add corn.  You can do it however your little heart desires or whatever you have in your fridge.  This is equally good hot or cold and is insanely good the following day.

Nutritional Info:  Solid.  Right around 300 calories, 5 grams of fat.


I'm off to do some work and start my studying but tomorrow we are going off the calorie rails...  I'll be making a sunchoke risotto that is over 1,000 calories per serving and a much, much lighter sausage and roasted pepper dish.  Good lord, don't let me sample too much of the risotto.  Yikes.  

1 comment:

  1. I am totally making this salad this weekend. Best of all, I already have most of the ingredients sitting in my fridge; just need some cilantro! Looks yummy.