Ok, so I'm not a food blogger. If I'm being honest, I'm not really a blogger at all. I would like to be, but until I'm willing to take the leap and make a concerted commitment to blogging, I'll wear the title of dappling blogger with pride!
Yesterday, I made this amazing (yep, it was good) salad for my church's Lenten Fellowship Night. I usually make soup for these events, but I just didn't have enough time to pull it off for last night. Fortunately, I was inspired by a FB post the day prior from Women's Running Magazine. The post was actually a recipe for a quinoa salad. My eating habits of late have been rather sketchy. Typically, my will-power is spot on. I don't believe in depriving myself of treats, but in recent weeks I've found myself indulging more than I like. Making a salad packed with good stuff was just what I was looking for!
Like I said, I'm not a food blogger by any means. If I was, I would have taken pictures of the process, the ingredients, and given a play-by-play of the recipe. Instead, I'm just going to give you the recipe that I ended up using.
I made some slight variations to ingredients for the recipe, only because there were certain ingredients in the original recipe that I just don't like. For example, the original recipe calls for corn and cilantro. I love corn... when it's piping hot. Not so much in a cold salad. I think cilantro is either loved or hated. I fit the later of the two. So those two ingredients were out! I also added honey to the dressing mixture. I just felt it needed a bit of sweetness to cut through the olive oil. I also added a dash of chili powder and cayenne pepper for a little zip. Honestly, I could have added more of both, but since I was making the salad for a large group of people, I played it safe.
Here is the recipe I ended up creating:
Southwest Quinoa Salad
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
Grape tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Dash of chili powder
Dash of cayenne pepper
Cook quinoa according to package directions. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool. It's easier to fluff the quinoa once it is cooled. While the quinoa is cooking, chop all veggies. I waited to chop the avocado until I was ready to put the salad together just so it wouldn't brown. In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Add as much or as little chili powder and cayenne pepper to suit your taste. Set aside. Drain and rinse black beans. I actually microwaved the black beans for about 2 minutes. I don't think you really need to do this step, but something about adding uncooked beans didn't appeal to me. If you do cook the beans, let them cool before adding them to the salad. (I put both the quinoa and black beans in the refrigerator to speed the cooling process.)
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing and mix well. Chill for 30 minutes before serving.
I can't really say how long the salad takes to make. There are obvious shortcuts you can take, such as buying pre-chopped veggies and not squeezing your own lime juice, but I try to keep things as fresh as possible. Like I mentioned earlier, you don't have to cook the beans either which will save some time waiting for them to cool. I was able to put everything together in about 30 minutes, not including cooling time. This is a super easy, delicious, and healthy recipe that I will definitely be making again... soon!
Here is what was left after last night. Perfect for my lunch today!