Monday, March 19, 2012

Southwestern Quinoa Bowl

In my ongoing effort to lose a pound or twp (read at least twenty), I've declared the first day of the week as "Meatless Monday."  No meat at any meal, not even lean stuff like chicken or salmon.  (Yes, I know technically salmon is not meat.  Stay with me...)

I still want to get plenty of protein.  This easy-to-create meal in a bowl fits the bill nicely; the quinoa and black beans are both packed with it.  Plus there's other good stuff like avocado and olive oil. If you're feeling adventurous, you might add corn and/or diced red onion. (Rinse the onion to get rid of some of the bite if you'd like.) And maybe a pinch of cumin or chili powder to the dressing.

Or fix it as is.  I did and it's delicious.

Southwestern Quinoa Bowl
Serves four as a side and two with generous main course servings.

2 cups quinoa, cooked
1 can (15 ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (less if you're cilantro-phobic like my other half)
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons lime juice

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to incorporate.  (Or pulse in a bullet-style blender.)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the beans, tomatoes and cilantro. Add the avocado and lime juice and stir to incorporate.

Fluff the quinoa and add to the bean mixture.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Drizzle each serving with dressing and serve.

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