Monday, June 27, 2011

Vegan for a Day: Black Bean, Corn, Tomato, and Onion Salad over Quinoa with Avocado Vinaigrette

Jayme, Andrew and Lyla came for a Virginia visit this weekend, and it was fantastic.

at the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning

 But it was also a little challenging:  I had to figure out how to cook for a vegan (me), gluten-free gal (J), and veggie-hating brother-in-law (to be fair, he did eat some veggies). Food plays an important role in entertaining, and I wanted everyone--self included--to feel happy and satisfied.

snacky snack snack snack
We had a ton of healthy, yummy snacks on Friday (chips, hummus, guacamole, crackers, etc.) before dinner, some pad thai and chicken skewers on Saturday, a Sunday brunch that included tofu scramble, GF pancakes, turkey bacon and fresh fruit, and this delicious salad, along with leftovers for lunch. 

This salad is a meal, for sure: you've got your veggies, your bean, your grains, your healthy fats. It's all in there. And it's easy!  A little prep work for the veggies and dressing, but can be ready in about 15 minutes (or less, if you have some help!).

Black Bean, Corn, Tomato and Onion Salad over Quinoa
w/ Avocado Vinaigrette


2 cans (15.5 oz each) black beans, drained and rinsed
4 ears corn, boiled and cut off cob (you could also use 1-2 cans of corn or a package of frozen, in a pinch, but obviously, fresh tastes best!)
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 cup quinoa (choose your favorite variety)
2 cups water

1 medium avocado
3 Tablespoons lime juice (about 1 fresh lime)
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon agave syrup (or sugar)
2/3 cup vegetable stock
1 green onion, minced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt


1.  If boiling corn, prepare the pot with water (no salt).  Add quinoa and water to sacuepan and cook as directed.
2.  Once corn is ready and slightly cool, cut off cob and put in serving bowl.  Add all other vegetable ingredients as well to make salad.
3.  Let quinoa cool while you make the vinaigrette.
4.  Add all ingredients to a small blender or food processor (I used my immersion/stick blender with its shake cup, and it worked perefctly!).  Blend until smooth, but not thick.  It should look like a runny guacamole.  If too thick, add a little more vinegar.
5. Add cooled quinoa to salad and mix.
6. Pour dressing over salad and mix (you may only use 2/3 of the's up to you how saucy you want the salad mixture!).

 The colors in the salad are so gorgeous...of course, as the avocado oxidizes, it will get a little more brown, so this is best served within a day or two.  You can eat it warm if you prefer, by adding the quinoa immediately, but we found it tasted best cold.  Refreshing, healthy, delicious!

Have you made any Meatless Monday recipes lately, from this blog or somewhere else? I'd love to hear about them!

Bon Apetit,