Sunday, May 26, 2013

Quinoa Black Bean Salad

Quinoa (the name comes from the Spanish spelling of the Quechua name kinwa) originated in the Andes region of Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru. It has been around for over 3,000 years, but most of us didn't know about it until it recently became a superfood. It contains essential amino acids and good quantities of calcium, phosphate, manganese, folate and protein.

Quinoa is generally cooked the same way as rice, except it has a much faster cooking time, and it can be used in many dishes. You can use it in salads, casseroles, hot breakfast cereal, stir fries, or just eat it instead of rice in any meal. Don't let the name discourage you or intimidate you. Give this salad a try and you will realize how easy to make quinoa is :)

Quinoa Black Bean Salad
Adapted from EatLiveRun

Serves 6-8



1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 red onion, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water
2 ears fresh corn, kernels chopped off (no cooking) or 1 can of corn, drained and rinsed
1 avocado, diced
cilantro to taste, I used half a bunch


Juice of 1-2 limes
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp cumin or to taste
salt to taste


First cook quinoa: rinse 1/2 cup quinoa. Bring quinoa to a boil with the broth or water (I like broth because it makes a tastier quinoa). Reduce heat and simmer for 13-15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Place all the other ingredients in a mixing bowl and toss to combine. If you are not eating all of it right away, I suggest you leave out the avocado and add it before eating.

In a small bowl, whisk all the dressing ingredients. Add quinoa to salad, then pour the dressing over the mix. Toss well and enjoy! 

Salad keeps for up to 5 days refrigerated in a sealed container. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Black Bean Burgers

Beans are among my favorite things to eat. I probably make black bean something once every week- black bean enchiladas, black bean chicken casserole, black beans and rice, a salad with black beans. What can I say, I absolutely love black beans! 

It has not been that way forever. I used to think beans were boring. Back in Honduras, the staple everyday meal consists of beans, rice, and chicken and for most families homemade corn tortillas. Most people eat that or something like that every single day. Rice is cheap, beans are (or more like used to) cheap (they aren't so cheap anymore, sadly), chicken is just our poultry of prefernce, and tortillas are our version of bread. Anyway, this plain way of serving beans made me like them not so much, until I discovered cuban style black beans :) Then I realized you could make awesome things with black beans! Throw some salsa in, some rice and chicken, hot sauce and you have an awesome simple meal. 

Now, black bean burgers probably sound like something that is just taking black beans a little to far, but trust me, if you like beans you will like black bean burgers! They are easy to make, easy to freeze, easy to throw together on a busy weeknight, and they are one tasty mess (or at least mine are). 

Black Bean Burger
Adapted from EatLiveRun
Makes around 6 patties (eat what you want, and freeze the rest of the patties!)

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed 
1 cup corn, drained and rinsed (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced (can be left out)
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs or panko
1 egg white
3 tbsp ketchup or tomato paste
2 tbsp salsa (only if you have it)
2-3 tsp cumin (more or less to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
Hot sauce to taste


1. Mash 3/4 of the black beans and garlic with a fork ( if you own a food processor that works even better). When beans look smooth and resemble black bean dip add the jalapeno, spices, panko or breadcrumbs, salsa, and ketchup or tomato paste. Stir well. At this point, try the mash and adjust the seasonings to taste. Add the corn and the left over black beans into the mix and stir until combined. Finally, add the egg white and mix everything until smooth. 

2. Form black bean mixture into patties, and set in a cookie sheet. If ready to eat them, heat a little oil in a skillet and fry each patty for 3-4 min on each side, until crispy and golden. If freezing, set the patties in a baking sheet and place them in the freezer. When firm enough, store them in an airtight freezer bag. When ready to eat heat some oil and fry. No need to thaw!

3. Serve on a hamburger buns, with lettuce, tomato, avocado, ketchup and extra hot sauce!