Friday, January 25, 2008

yummy vegan recipe

This was the first recipe I made as a brand-new vegan. It's from the inaugural Winter 2008 issue of Clean Eating magazine, (1) which is great for herbivore and carnivore alike.

Quinoa Black Bean Salad

  • 1 c. quinoa, washed and drained (I put a paper towel in a strainer and poured in the quinoa, rinsing and draining it all at the same time without getting it everywhere)
  • 2 c. water (you do NOT want to use too much water--trust me, it comes out all mushy and gross)
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • juice of 2 fresh limes
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 5 green onions, finely chopped (I really suck at this--my green onion pieces were as big as my thumb)
  • 1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped (or not, if you're like me and keep forgetting to pick some up)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Wash and rinse quinoa. In a saucepan, bring quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook until all water is absorbed, about 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool (Although personally, I like it better warm. With a side of blue corn chips. And a few good quality dark chocolate squares for dessert).

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, cumin, and red pepper flakes.

Combine cooled quinoa, beans, tomatoes, and onions in a large bowl.

Drizzle dressing over salad and toss in cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.
The great thing about this recipe is the quinoa itself. Read this excerpt from the magazine:
Although it's considered an "ancient grain," quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah") is actually a cousin of leafy green vegetables like spinach and swiss chard. Where it differs from its green and grain counterparts is as a protein source: Just one cup has 20 grams of protein--twice as much as old-fashioned oats and about the same as a three-ounce serving of cooked cod. This gluten-free grain-like substance also contains magnesium, iron, potassium, and B-vitamins...And did we mention that it's one of the few plant foods that provides all nine essential amino acids simultaneously?

If you have ever looked into giving up meat, you know one of the arguments against it is how meat is the major source of the complete set of amino acids, which is essential to good health; in fact, before I read this article, I thought the only way to get all 9 at once was from meat. It is often thought that vegetarians, and particularly vegans who eat no animal products, have to be meticulous about eating certain foods in combination to get all the proteins they need. But not so! A little of the magic green-grain every day and I'm good to go, woo hoo! :) Plus, it's extremely versatile--you can use it like you would use rice or couscous in all your favorite recipes.

Soo...what's going on with you?

(1)Young, Allison. "Power Foods." Clean Eating Winter 2008: 73-79.

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