Monday, August 31, 2015

Black Bean Quinoa Bowl with Cilantro Honey Lime Vinaigrette

I know, I know. I’m always making grain salads, right? But what can I say? They’re just good. This one especially, with the bright green vinaigrette combining all these flavors! I made it with an immersion blender, but I probably would have gotten a nicer result with a regular blender. (If you don’t have either, a food processor will do, too.) Obviously, feel free to adjust the proportions of the salad according to your preferences and what you have in your fridge. This salad can be eaten warm, at room temperature or cold.

For the black bean quinoa bowl
2 tsp. vegetable oil
¼ cup diced red onion
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
¼ tsp. salt
1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
¼ red onion, cut into thin slices (optional; I would use a vegetable peeler for this)
½ red bell pepper, cut into thin slices
½ yellow bell pepper, cut into thin slices
1 avocado, sliced or cubed
feta or lactose-free substitute (optional; I didn’t use cheese)
cilantro, for garnish

For the cilantro honey lime vinaigrette
½ cup cilantro
2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. honey (or agave nectar)
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 lime, zested and juiced (about 1 ½ Tbsp.)
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
¼ tsp. salt (or more, to taste)

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped red onion and cook until starting to soften, 2-3 minutes. Pour in the dry quinoa and toast, stirring frequently, for 3-5 minutes. Add 2 cups water and salt, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Set aside.

Toss together the cooked quinoa with the black beans, thinly-sliced red onion, red bell pepper, and yellow bell peppers in a bowl. Before serving, add avocado and cilantro (and cheese, if using).

To make the vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Taste and adjust salt to your liking. Pour the vinaigrette over the quinoa and toss well.

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