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I don’t know if you guys heard, but IT’S OFFICIALLY SPRING! Then again, it’s also been in the 90’s this whole week, so screw you, equinox, you don’t know shit. It’s effing hot here.

So yeah, food.

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So it’s hot outside, and nothing excites me more during warm weather than a good grain salad.  (Ha, that’s a dirty lie.  Margarita, anyone?)  Not only are they delicious and nutritious, but people at work get weirded out that you don’t bring frozen chimichangas or Lean Cuisine or Cup o’ Noodles for lunch and therefore don’t touch your leftovers.  (My chocolate coconut sorbet on the other hand?  Still don’t know where that went.  Or the container.  Bitches.)  I discovered this one last summer, and it was so tasty, it’s been called back into duty. This bowl of Southwestern yumminess is quick to throw together and uses stuff I pretty much always have knocking around my pantry.  I was planning on eating it with some tequila and lime marinated chicken, but yeah I’m lazy.  I sauteed some shrimp, tossed it in, and called it a day.  Which turned out being a great idea.


Look at those beautifully chopped green onions.  I can’t take all the credit, though–it comes from growing up in a Japanese American household.  Scallion goes on everything.  Which means growing up, after your Suzuki and Wohlfahrt, your kitchen task was chopping green onion.  Hahaha I’m kidding.  Sort of.

Now I’m not going to get into the whole quinoa thing because I’m hardly an expert.  I’m just going to say that it’s a whole grain, that I think it’s tasty, and if you need more than that, click here.  If you can’t find it, couscous would work well, or even orzo.  This recipe uses a steaming method to cook the quinoa, which I assume produces a fluffier grain.  Boil the quinoa, strain, and then steam.  Without steaming, I would think the grain would be too wet and less able to soak up the dressing.  It’s only slightly more effort with what I would expect to be great reward.  But then, I’ve never made it any other way.    But let’s just go with I’m right, you’re wrong, and get on with things.  (See Tom, wasn’t that easy?)


Black Bean and Tomato Quinoa
adapted from Gourmet

zest of two limes
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoone extra virgin olive oil

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz. can corn, drained and rinsed (thawed out frozen corn also works)
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved (Obviously you can also just chop up a couple tomatoes.  My son, however, is obsessed with the grape variety and I always have them.)
four green onions, chopped

Add the quinoa to a pot of boiling, salted water and cook for ten minutes.  Strain in a sieve.  Add about an inch of water back to the pot, set the sieve over the water, and cover first with a kitchen towel, then the lid to the pot.  Bring the water back up to a boil and steam over medium heat for another ten minutes.  At this point, take the pot off the heat and remove the lid, but keep the towel over for another five minutes or so.  Fluff with a fork.  (A spoon will just mush things together.)

While all this business is going on, whisk the first seven ingredients together in a large bowl.  Salt and pepper.  Halve all those tomatoes, chop your green onions, and rinse your canned goods.  (Though this may have to wait if you only have one sieve.)  Toss into another bowl.

When the quinoa’s done, and all your other business taken care of, add the quinoa to the dressing and combine.  (Again, with a fork!)  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Stir, taste, salt and pepper.  Invite the fiesta in your bowl to the party in your tummy.   (Seriously, click on that link and see how freaking bizarre children’s TV is today.  I personally prefer ACME anvils dropping from the sky, but maybe that’s just me.)

Happy spring!

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10 Responses to “primavera”  

  1. 1 Whitney

    I just bought my first box of quinoa and I am excited to try it out. This looks like a lovely recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  2. 2 Meleyna

    I hope you enjoy it. This is the first recipe I ever made with quinoa, and embarrassingy it’s been the only one, that’s how much I enjoy it. I’ve bookmarked countless recipes, but sometimes, when you know something just works, you just keep going back to it…

  3. 3 Tish

    This looks so refreshing and tasty. When it gets warmer here I think I will have to try it. Love that it has Mexican oregano, I love that stuff!

  4. 4 Meleyna

    I love the stuff too. Oh, and just to clarify, I mean the Mexican oregano you find at the store, not the kind I smuggled back in an empty can of formula in Parker’s diaper bag. That oregano is saved for brownies.

  5. 5 rebekka

    Hhaha! My friend’s daughter is always talking about the party in her tummy! She’s three and makes me put my ear to her tummy to listen to the “disco music!”

    That quinoa looks fabulous!

  6. 6 Meleyna

    Kids are hilarious. And lucky for you, you get to give her back to your friend when she starts throwing a fit. :)

  7. 7 Kevin

    This is my kind of quinoa salad! Nice and simple and tasty and healthy!

  8. 8 ASHLEA

    This looks so healthy and fresh! I love quinoa and I am always looking for a way to spice it up… looks wonderful!

  9. 9 Joe

    This recipe looks really great and I love Quonia. Has anyone tried adding cilantro and fresh jalapeno to this ? Almost seems like they are missing from the recipe and would pair perfect with the rest of the ingredients.

  10. 10 Meleyna

    Both the cilantro and jalapeno would make great additions! I do hope that you try this recipe and enjoy it as much as me. :)

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