Saturday, September 4, 2010

Load up!

This is one of the tastiest, no-cook meals I've made in a long time. For the minimal effort that goes into it, the flavor return is immense. The only "cooking" I did was to slow-cook the black beans (but of course you can use canned) and use my rice cooker for the quinoa. This meal is great way to keep extra heat out of your kitchen on a summer night! My modifications follow the recipe.

The Loaded Bowl
from Clean Eating Magazine, Sept/Oct 2010
serves 12

3 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained (or 2 cups cooked black beans)
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (more or less according to your taste)
2 fresh avocados, pitted, peeled and diced
Fresh lemon juice to prevent avocado from browning
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Juice of 4 limes
Zest of 1 lime

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

1. Prepare quinoa according to package directions. While it is cooking, prepare the remaining ingredients.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine beans, tomatoes, and cilantro.

3. Dice avocados and drizzle with lemon juice. Set aside.

4. Combine all dressing ingredients in a bullet-style blender. Pulse until garlic is incorporated and dressing appears creamy. Set aside.

5. Fluff quinoa with fork and add to bean mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Add lime juice and zest; toss to combine. Top each serving with avocado pieces and dressing.

This salad will keep well, covered, in the fridge for 3-4 days. Without the avocado, it could last up to 6 days, and may be frozen. Feel free to substitute brown rice for the quinoa, or add grilled chicken to make a heartier meal.

I made a lot less quinoa (my rice cooker only holds so much--I think 1 cup uncooked?) but still used the full 2 cups beans, pint of tomatoes, 2 avocados, 2 limes and the zest of one, and the full dressing recipe with 2 cloves garlic. We had about 1/2 cup cilantro to use up, and it was plenty. We did not portion this individually, but served it family-style with the quinoa on the bottom and the colorful goodies spread out on top.

This served four adults generously, with one portion leftover for my lunch. We didn't use all the dressing, but it was nice to have the extra on the side for those who wanted it.

Nutrition information per 1-cup serving:
Calories - 293
Fat - 12g
Saturated fat - 1g
Carbs - 39g
Fiber - 6g
Sugars - 1g
Protein - 9g
Sodium - 59mg
Cholesterol - 0mg


  1. I just made this for tonights dinner.....let me tell you, it is DELISH!!! even without the dressing :) thank you so much for posting this recipe!

  2. I am so excited to try this recipe! I've been looking for a good quinua recipe to try on my family. Thank you!!!

  3. I need to make this for dinner tonight! Looks SO good!!

  4. Just made this tonight... incredibly good!!

  5. Looks really good - I will be trying it out!

  6. That looks so healthy and so wonderful, thank you so very much for sharing!

  7. I found your recipe on pinterest and made this 2 nights ago. It is absolutely delicious and even my boyfriend declared he loved it! :)
    Emily at Amazing Grapes

  8. This looks exactly like a dish they serve at Central Market (a grocery store in Texas). I've been wanting to make it at home ever since I tried it, so I'm really excited to try your recipe. Thank you for sharing!

    Lori at Lori Green Photography

  9. Found your recipe on pinterest yesterday and I decided to try it out last night :) It is delicious and I love how you can taste the lime and garlic. Sadly, I didn't realize I had to save some of the avocado to decorate at the end, so it was more mashed in because it was ripe, but still delicious! Loved it :D

  10. What do you think about substituting balsamic vinegar for the white vinegar? I'm not a big white vinegar fan but I don't know if it would be too many flavors...

    1. Balsamic might be too heavy/complex a flavor for this; I'd be more inclined to sub lemon juice for the vinegar if anything.

  11. I found this via pinterest and made it on Sunday...we LOVED it!!! I subbed lemon juice for the white vinegar in the dressing, b/c I didn't have any white was still tasty (and we didn't use much dressing anyway). This was the first quinona recipe I tried and my husband approved it with flying colors! We topped it with grilled chicken and it was awesome. Perfect...we will be eating this often! Thanks!

  12. Made it. Ate it...more like devoured it. So easy, healthy and delish! :-)