I made two super delicious things (that were very easy & fast to make) this morning after returning from the grocery store. First, I always like to have a sandwich spread in the refrigerator because I don’t always like to make something new every single meal. There are so many wonderful hummus spreads & other vegetable spreads in all of my cookbooks but today I made one with roasted red peppers (mine were a mix of red & yellow), raw almonds, red wine vinegar, chickpeas, 1 clove of garlic, 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper to taste, & olive oil. After pulsing the almonds first until very fine in my food processor, I added the rest of the ingredients & blended until smooth. Usually I need to add some water to thin it but this time it came out very smooth and creamy. I’ll eat this in sandwiches with all kinds of raw vegetables the rest of the week (lettuce, baby spinach, onions, cucumbers, avocado, etc.) or with crackers as a snack.
After talking with a co-worker yesterday about food, quinoa came into the conversation. It inspired me to make a salad today with it. Quinoa (say KEEN-WA) is a very old & neglected grain but is slowly coming into vogue. You can find it in most grocery stores easily (I buy the Bob’s Red Mill brand). It cooks just as fast as rice (about 15 minutes) & has a slightly nutty flavor. But it is so packed with fiber & iron that it is a healthy treat to toss in soups or salads. I’ll even cook it like a pilaf with vegetables & spices or make it in a tabbouleh instead of couscous because it’s pretty boring & plain by itself.
I have all kinds of recipes for quick bean salads & I’ve made them so often I pretty much improvise with what I have on hand now. Today’s salad included a can of black beans (drained & rinsed), quinoa (1/4 C dried, rinsed & cooked), 1 cubed avocado, 1 stalk of celery diced, 1/2 of an onion diced, some diced roasted red/yellow peppers (drained), & 1 C of corn niblets (canned & rinsed or frozen & thawed—I usually just pour boiling water over it in a bowl & let sit for 10 minutes).
I made the dressing with 2 tbsp fresh lime juice, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp grape seed oil (if you don’t have grape seed oil you can just use another tbsp of olive oil), 1/4 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp salt, pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the salad & toss to coat well. Chill until ready to serve. Absolutely delicious!