Healthy Eating, Easier Running, Introducing Black Beans Quinoa Salad

Ever since I started to train for the half marathon, maintaining a healthy eating has became more important. Any extra “weight” (read: junk) is extra work on the track!

I’ve became vegetarian for three months now, although I’d call myself 95% vegetarian since my husband is still not ready to give up meat and since I cook for us, I still taste the regular food I cook. I know some of my vegetarian friends can cook based on “recipe” and not have to taste the final product. I’m just not built the same way.

Anyway, one of my favorite dish that has both proteins and grains is the black bean quinoa salad. It is very light and fulfilling. I can have a big plate of this and call it a meal after a run. Best of all, it’s surprisingly easy to make!

Ingredients:

1 cup of quinoa (I use both the tri-color or regular quinoa from Trader Joe’s)
1 can of organic black beans (also from the friendly neighborhood Trader Joe’s)
Half bunch of cilantro
half lime

Cooking:

Cook the quinoa according to the instruction. I use rice cooker, the ratio of quinoa to water is 1 to 2. I also add pinch of salt and a teaspoon of olive oil. But you don’t have to. After the quinoa is cooked, I drained the black beans and add pinch of salt to season. Then, I add the beans to the quinoa salad. I chop the cilantro and add it to the beans-quinoa mixture and squeeze some lime juice over it. Finally, salt and pepper to taste. And sometimes, I will add another teaspoon of olive oil. Voila! A healthy meal is made!

This dish can stand on its own or as a side dish to salmon. It goes well together. If I feel more “fancy”, I may roast some sweet corn and then add it to the quinoa salad. It’s fantastic! Or, during summer, when avocado is appropriate, I will add few slices to the salad. It’s refreshing! I have added whatever vegetables I may find additionally in my fridge such as purple onion, broccoli, etc. Also, I have substituted black beans with my other favorite beans: pinto beans.

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