Monthly Archives: February 2012

Black Bean and Avocado Lime Quinoa

I love simplicity on a weeknight. And though the plethora of ingredients in this recipe may lead you to believe that it’s complicated, it’s not! You cook the quinoa and simply stir everything else in. I’ve made this many times, and the add-in ingredients are flexible and can be adjusted depending on the state of your pantry. So while it’s delicious just as written below, have fun playing and substituting!

This dish can function as a side, but I love it as a main dish. And my love will remain unshaken.


(Serves 4)

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 tsp kosher salt
2 TBS olive oil
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp sugar
1 small bunch cilantro
3-4 Roma tomatoes
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can corn
2 avocados
1 sprinkle lemon juice (for the avocado)
1 hard boiled egg
1 TBS melted butter
Optional: crumbled feta cheese

First: resist the urge to be overwhelmed. Yes, there appear to be a good many ingredients in that picture, but nothing complicated is happening with or to any of them. Take a deep breath and stick with me!

Now, quinoa. I used to be intimidated by it. It was an unknown, and it always takes a little extra energy to tackle something mysterious in the kitchen. Well let me assure you: this delicious little grain is nothing to be afraid of. Its tiny couscous-like pearls are simply cooked in boiling water, and then sit for 10 minutes to steam and soften. And that’s the extent of the Quinoa Threat.

Let’s see this funky lil’ grain in action!

Boil the 2 cups of water in a large pot. When boiling, adjust the heat to medium, add the quinoa . . .

. . . and cook (uncovered) for 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed. After 15 minutes, cover the pot and turn off the heat.

Let the quinoa sit for 10 minutes and get happy. See? Nothing to fear at all.

Hard boil that egg. After 7 minutes of boiling and a couple minutes sitting in the hot water, mine was perfection.

Dice up the tomatoes and cilantro:

Bam! Bam! Toss them in a bowl.

Peel and cube the avocado, sprinkling the pieces with a little lemon juice to avoid browning.

As you can see, I left a few of the prettier slices whole, to use as a garnish.

Drain and rinse the black beans:

And drain the can of corn while you’re at it.

Chop up the hardboiled egg too–and now all the chunky ingredients are ready to be added once the quinoa is done:

Beautiful! Colorful. Healthy.

Zest and juice the lime into a bowl:

Add the salt, sugar, and pepper . . .

. . . and whisk in the olive oil and butter to form the dressing.

As you can see, I couldn’t be bothered with melting the butter, knowing it would simply melt in the hot quinoa.

Once the quinoa is done, mix everything together in the pot:

This dish can be eaten hot or cold, but I like it at least warm, so if you do too, heat everything for a couple minutes over low heat.

Serve it up! You can sprinkle a little feta on top too, if you’re in the mood for some dairy bliss.

I, surprisingly, wasn’t. I also didn’t have any feta on hand, so maybe that was part of it.

It’s so good. I love, love, love this dinner–there’s no rolling away from the table with a rock in your stomach after a bowl of this veggie-licious combo. I hope you guys like it too!

Click here for printer-friendly version: Black Bean and Avocado Lime Quinoa

Fuzzy feelings

Going through the last pictures from Christmas, so many of them give me the fuzzies. Like this one. Just imagine your lips sinking into that squooshy cheek.

And by the way, didn’t I totally predict that I’d be talking about Christmas through February? Yep. I called it, baby.

Anyway, here are my favorite pics from our lovely family vacation, and the reasons that I love them.

It’s a fat paw. With dimples at every knuckle.

My husband’s profile makes me happy. I know I can’t shut up about it, but seriously. That straight, gorgeous nose.

The fuzzy headed little guy.

Heidi! She’s gorgeous in black and white.

And in color too! The poor thing can’t help it, so don’t hold it against her.

Baby + technology = much amusement.

Riding a train with my baby. Every minute was bliss.

My Dad–explaining things in typical Dad fashion. This encapsulates so much about him.

Mama Twink with her first grandson.

The little family!

Dad. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this expression over the years. And I lean my head on my arm in exactly the same manner.

My baby (and I mean the bearded one) engaging in one of my favorite activities: smelling our nephew’s head.

Walking arm in arm with Mom!

Sorry–is this series too James-heavy?

No. There cannot be enough James on this blog.

Mama Kitty! In one of her typical outfits. Large, wildly attention-drawing hat. Big colorful chunky necklace. An outfit that, frankly, only she can pull off.

My brother-in-law John. The combative, smart, sometimes irrational, lovable, maddening, debate-crazy junior in college. Don’t forget you were 10 when I first met you.

James and his Dada.

Me and my Dada!

And after all these warm, fuzzy thoughts, I think I’m ready to start my day. The end!