This was what I whipped up Saturday night in a hurry. I got back from yoga at 6:05 and I was getting picked up at 6:40 by some friends. That left me 35 minutes to prepare dinner, eat it, shower and get dressed. I took the time to figure out what I was going to put together as I biked home from the studio. Mission accomplished.
Well, to be honest, I think I was ready by 6:42. Not bad.
I had cooked black beans in the fridge from the day before. I will often soak and cook dried beans just to have them on hand during the week. Then I will build meals around the type of bean I have cooked and what fresh veggies I have in the fridge. Having some cooked beans on hand at all times makes it easy to create quick, delciious and nutritious meals in a hurry. If you haven't soaked any beans you can always use canned beans. I also keep a variety of canned beans on hand at all times for the times when I haven't soaked and cooked any beans.
There are many things you can change in this recipe to make it your own. This is just an idea, a templae of sorts. Grain and bean salads are a personal favorite of mine. The combinations are endless.
The beauty of quinoa, which isn't actually a grain but a seed, is that it only takes about 10 minutes to cook. Making it perfect for situations like the one I found myself in on this particular Saturday night. I wanted to eat a nutritious supper after a intense hot yoga class and picking up "healthy" food at a restaurant wasn't realistic with the time frame I was working with.
Here is what I did. Hopefully it helps you for the next time you find yourself short on time but still wanting a nutritious homemade meal.
I toasted the pumpkin seeds in a frying pan. Some of them popped. Delicious. These are a great heathy snack on their own but add a nice crunch and flavor to this salad.
Enjoy and feel free to play with this basic recipe. you could add diced tomatoes, sliced avocado, chopped spinach etc. The amounts of each ingredient used here is really up to you. I have written down the approximate proportions that I used.
I actually served this with a couples slices of grilled tempeh and added a few drops of tabasco sauce. Let me know what you chose to do.
Quinoa & Black Bean Salad
1 cup dry "white" quinoa, cooked
2 cups cooked black beans (canned is ok)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 red pepper, diced
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
Juice of 1 lemon or more
Salt and pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste (1/4 teaspoon and up)
Optional: a few tablespoons of olive oil
Note: Remember to rinse your quinoa before cooking it. For one cup of quinoa I use about 1 3/4 cups of water and cook for 10-12 minutes. Once the seeds open up and the tail comes out it is ready.
Cook the quinoa.
Toast the pumpkin seeds in a pan on medium-high for a few minutes. When you hear a pop they are just about ready. Keep your eye on them and be sure not to burn them.
I added the black beans to the pot of quinoa to warm them up since they came out of the fridge. Depends on if you like your salad warm, cold, or room temperature. I prefer the room temperature to warm end of the scale.
Combine all the ingredients together in a big bowl and mix together. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
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