Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mexican Quinoa Bowl

Hello, friends! It's been forever, I know. Work has been busy. Life has gotten in the way. Sometimes it's hard to come home at the end of the day and blog when all I want to do is collapse in front of the TV. I've done a whole lot of that as of late, and I'm going to try and strike a better balance moving forward. A little less lounging and a little more cooking/blogging. I can't tell others to make time in their busy schedules to cook, if I'm not going to practice what I preach.

Moving right along... I've got a lot of exciting things coming up! My second half marathon is right around the corner, as is my one year anniversary with Pat. In preparation for the former, I've been going on long runs each week, increasing my distance by a mile each time, building up to 12 miles this past week. On the days of these long runs, I try to eat carb-heavy lunches, so I have plenty of fuel to keep me going through 1-2 hour workouts. As a result, I've been on the lookout for healthy recipes with loads of carbs. As much as I'd love to eat giant pasta lunches every week, my body wouldn't go for it, plus I'd have to pull a George Costanza and nap under my desk.

Last week, I decided to create exactly the kind of recipe I had been looking for, and so the Mexican Quinoa Bowl was born. Made from a base of black beans, corn and quinoa the dish is chock full of good carbs. It also contains some veggies and dairy, as well as healthy fats from the avocado and canola oil. All in all, it makes for a pretty well-balanced, healthy meal.

This dish can be eaten as an entree or served alongside a protein— chicken and steak are the first two that come to mind. It would also be great thrown into a burrito with some meat and greens, or perhaps eggs, if you're craving a breakfast burrito. However you eat it, I definitely recommend you try it out. It's a great dish to fuel up on without breaking the calorie bank.

Up the deliciousness factor with toppings like guac, Greek yogurt, queso fresco and cilantro.

Bon appetit!

Mexican Quinoa Bowl
Serves 4-6
1/2 c quinoa, uncooked
1 1/2 c black beans
1 1/2 c corn
1 c cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/3 c red onion, finely chopped
2-3 c spinach
1/2 tsp salt
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
Juice of 2 limes
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
Dash of cinnamon
Splash of red wine vinegar
1/4 c water
1/4 c canola oil
Large handful of cilantro

For topping
Queso fresco or cotija cheese
Greek yogurt

Bring quinoa and 1 cup of water to a boil in a medium saucepan or pot. Once the mixture boils, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until all of the liquid has evaporated. Fluff quinoa with a fork and set aside to cool completely.

While quinoa is cooking, combine beans, corn, tomatoes, and onion in a large bowl and set aside.

Next, cook the spinach. Heat a generous glug of olive oil in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. Add spinach and saute until just wilted, then remove from the heat. Transfer to a bowl to cool (or else it will continue to cook in the hot pan) and season with salt to taste. Once spinach has fully cooled, add to the bowl with the salad. Go ahead and add the quinoa, as well.

Finally, to make the sauce, combine chipotle peppers (and some adobo sauce), lime juice, garlic, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, red wine vinegar, water, canola oil, and cilantro in a food processor or blender and mix until smooth. Taste and season accordingly.

Fold sauce into salad and season. Serve topped guac and/or greek yogurt, some queso fresco and a bit of cilantro. 

Source: D*lish original

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