Often times what I make for dinner depends on just what we have on hand. When I go to the grocery store I usually have a couple of things in mind as far as the main entree, or protein, and then just grab what produce looks good and what I might need to fill in the empty spaces in the pantry. When dinner time rolls around I try to get creative with what I have.
I’ve said before how much I love reading recipes. I promise I can read a cook book like a novel! Lots of times I will remember a recipe I’ve read and use it for inspiration. Sometimes I will go back and follow the recipe and other times I’ll just wing it basing it completely on my (often lacking!) memory and see how it meshes with the ingredients I can find. That’s how I came to make this delicious Black Bean Quinoa Salad last night. Earlier this week I came across a recipe on Pinterest that looked like something I’d like to try. It is Hip2save’s Zesty Cilantro Lime Quinoa Salad Recipe. You can see it on my Pinterest Board, Feel Good Foods. Or you can check it out on the Hip2Save site here.
Anyway, last night I was piddling (is that a real word? The Husband says I am a world class piddler) around in the kitchen looking for sides to go with an Applewood Bacon wrapped pork tenderloin. I found quinoa. I found black beans. I had an avocado, tomatoes, and fresh cilantro. I remembered the recipe and thought I had enough ingredients to try something close to the original. It was a perfect side dish and even better leftover for lunch. As you can see my version isn’t nearly as pretty as the “real” thing:
However, it was still quite tasty!
Here’s my version of this Quinoa Salad:
BLACK BEAN QUINOA SALAD:
1 Cup Quinoa
2 Cups Water
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp Cumin
Dash Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 Cup Halved Cherry Tomatoes
1 15 oz can rinsed and drained Black Beans
1/4 Cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1/2 Avocado, chopped
Pepper to taste
Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, and red pepper flakes together in a bowl.
Combine quinoa, tomatoes, and black beans together in a bowl. Pour dressing over quinoa mixture; toss to coat. Stir in cilantro and avocado; season with black pepper. Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator.
This is the perfect thing for the Spring! I bet you have most, if not all, of these ingredients on hand at this very moment! Give it a try for a protein packed side dish or for lunch!
How do you prepare Quinoa? Do you follow recipes exactly? What inspires your meal planning? How do you spend Easter? What is your favorite time of the Year?
And as Sunday approaches I’m getting ready . . . love setting a table! Love, love this time of year!
Enjoy Your Day!