According to the Washington Post, 64% of us are still sticking with our 2015 New Year’s resolutions (pretty impressive, don’t you think?!?). If you’re in this group and one of your resolutions is to eat healthier this year (but, you’re already bored with the same old salads and veggies you’ve been eating since January 1st), I’ve got a fantastic Black Bean and Tomato Quinoa recipe that’ll awaken your taste buds and help you stick with your goals! So, you ask, what makes this dish so great?
- Quinoa! Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is known as a nutritional powerhouse because it’s a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids. High in both protein and fiber, it’s super satisfying and won’t have you raiding your pantry or office vending machine at 3 p.m. looking for a sugary or salty snack. Even better, when paired with black beans and veggies, there’s a great chance that you won’t even be hungry until early evening or dinner.
- It’s kid-friendly and allows for lots of creativity! Feel free to incorporate all the healthy foods that your family likes and make this recipe your own. Love avocados, roasted corn, and diced red bell peppers? Throw them in! Don’t care for beans or cilantro? Leave them out! Through trial and error, I’ve found that some other great additions are grilled chicken, pork, or shrimp, along with black olives and salsa. I’ve also discovered that it’s absolutely FABULOUS when you substitute diced fresh mangos for the tomatoes. Seriously, the sky’s the limit as far as what you can do with this dish!
- And finally, goodbye dreary January day, HELLO SUMMERTIME (as this quinoa truly tastes like summer in a bowl)! Bright, fresh, and bursting with flavor, one bite of this Black Bean and Tomato Quinoa will have you reaching for your favorite flip flops and smiling about all the warm sunny days ahead (not only great for your psyche, but also great for your waistline!). No, really, it’s that good!
Okay, now that you know my top three top reasons why I think this Black Bean and Tomato Quinoa is so fantastic, let’s move on to the recipe. It’s important to note that you’ll need 3 cups of cooked quinoa and the quinoa can be prepared a day or two in advance. Also, I’ve found that this dish tastes better if you make it a few hours ahead of the serving time (as it allows all the flavors to come together). Perfect as a side dish or as the main course, this quick and easy Black Bean and Tomato Quinoa is so delicious you’ll totally forget that it’s also very nutritious! Enjoy, everyone!
Black Bean and Tomato Quinoa
Makes 4 servings
3 cups quinoa, cooked
1 teaspoon grated lime zest (zest of 1 lime)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
4 scallions, chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Prepare quinoa according to package directions and set aside on a rimmed sheet pan to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together lime zest, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, sugar, salt, black pepper, and extra virgin olive oil. Add quinoa to dressing mixture and toss well until the dressing is absorbed. Stir in remaining ingredients and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Refrigerate (covered) until ready to serve.