Black Bean, Quinoa & Citrus Salad

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Black Bean, Quinoa & Citrus Salad combines fresh flavors like avocado, citrus and sweet corn in a salad that’s exploding with flavor.

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Check out this upgrade!

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Eloise looks way more expensive than $25 now, don’t you think?

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Maybe that’s because she is. :) This afternoon I biked up to Bike World (in 95 degree temperatures – I die!) to purchase a few upgrades for the old girl, starting with new grips.

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Apparently they don’t even make those fluffy handlebar covers for bikes anymore, so Bike World hooked me up with soft-but-grippy tape.

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Next I traded in my leaky seat for a sleek, high-tech saddle,

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before pedaling to nearby Target so I could get rid of the crappy bike bag I made in 7th grade sewing class and purchase a roomy, sturdier one instead!

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Total cost: $49. Unfortunately Bike World didn’t have two of the same replacement tires I need in stock, so I have to go back later this week to complete the transformation. Those should be $42, so the total investment for Eloise when all is said and done, including the purchase price, will be $116. $116 for a perfectly good road bike?!

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That is is WELL worth it when you consider the amount of gas I can save this summer by biking to nearby bars, restaurants, grocery stores, Target, etc. AND when you consider the increase in my level of feeling like a kid again each & every time I ride. Plus it’s a mere fraction of the cost of a new road bike!

Sure, I felt like kind of a dope wheeling my cobwebbed, plastic-bag covered geezer-bike in amongst the shiny, new ones at the bike store, but its got two wheels and gets me from point A to point B, which is what really matters. Thank you universe for sending me this bike! :D

Ok sorry, I promise this blog won’t turn into Iowa Girl Eats & Talks About Her Bike Named Eloise. Onto bigger and better things, like the nearly no-cook supper I made for dinner tonight that I am currently going NUTS for – Black Bean, Quinoa & Citrus Salad!

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I saw this recipe on Eat, Live, Run last week and have been this excited to make it ever since. It combines some of my favorite, fresh flavors like avocado, citrus & sweet corn into a salad that is eXpLoDiNg with flavor.

Plus there’s only one small cooking component, which makes it ideal for making on stupid-hot days like today

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I started by combining the salad ingredients into a large bowl. Chopped red onion,

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grapefruit,

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(I cut off the peel of the grapefruit with a knife, then slice and dice the flesh. Very easy & quick, plus I just hate peeling citrus fruit!)

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black beans,

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dried cranberries,

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corn on off the cob,

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(which is so sweet & tender that you can just eat it raw!)

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diced avocado,

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and chopped cilantro.

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Look at those lay-ahs of flav-ahs!

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Next I added the quinoa. Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wa”) is a complete protein that looks very tiny and innocent, but after simmering in a little water and salt, it “boings” out into a puffy spiral.

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See?

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You can find quinoa at most grocery stores, but if you don’t like it, or can’t find it for some reason, you could make this salad with couscous, Israeli couscous (that would be bomb) or even brown rice.

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Finally I drizzled a zippy, homemade Lime Vinaigrette over top,

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tossed everything together, and DOVE IN.

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I mean, I just don’t even know where to begin!

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The first flavor to jump out at me was the super-sweet corn. Then I noticed the chewy dried cranberries, creamy beans, tart grapefruit and mellow avocado.

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Flavor & textures gone wild!

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Black Bean, Quinoa & Citrus Salad

Print this recipe!

Serves 3-4

Slightly adapted from Eat, Live, Run

Ingredients:
1/2 cup dry quinoa
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons water
1/4 small red onion, minced
1 grapefruit, peeled & diced
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 ears of corn, kernels cut off cob
1 avocado, diced
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

Lime Vinaigrette:
1-1/2 limes
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Rinse quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer. Add to a small saucepan with the water, then bring to a boil. Put a lid on the pan, turn the heat down to medium-low, then simmer for 15 minutes, or until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water. Remove from heat, let sit for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and fluff quinoa with a fork.
  2. Combine red onion, grapefruit, black beans, cranberries, corn, avocado, cilantro and cooked quinoa into a large bowl. Toss with lime vinaigrette, sprinkle with additional salt & pepper to taste, then serve.
  3. For Lime Vinaigrette: juice 1 1/2 limes into a small bowl, then whisk in extra virgin olive oil and season with salt & pepper to taste.

You need to make this! :D

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Then you need to get these…

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Mini Blue Bunny Champ Cones – muwahahaha!

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Aren’t they adorable?

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Ok I will admit that I miss the nuts on top, like the regular champ cones have…

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but these babies are only 140 calories, are a perfect portion controlled dessert and, most importantly, still have the chocolate “plug” in the bottom of the cone. That’s my very favorite part. :)

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In other news, who is watching The Bachelorette tonight? I am not digging this season as much as I usually do as Ashley is a little bananas, the guys seem to come from a rare breed of boring & unusual, and in a moment of weakness I read all the season spoilers on Reality Steve last week (I know), but apparently the ish is supposed to hit the fan tonight when two guys leave in the most dramatic moment in Bachelorette history. I feel like I’ve heard that line before… ;)

Either way you know I’ll be tuning in!

Oh, by the way, in an effort to make Ben the happiest man alive, I attempted to surprise him by ironing a few pairs of work pants today so he wouldn’t have to.

NEVER AGAIN.

Why? Why are men’s dress pants so impossible to iron? Creases, cuffs, slippery fabric – no thank you. I’m leaving it up to the pros from now on. Sorry sweetie, I tried!

Hope your Monday went well! :D

~~~~~

If you could be on a reality show, what one would it be?

I want to be on the Amazing Race. I can’t watch it because I get too jealous! ;) It is also horrifying to know that I am officially too old to be on the Real World. I always thought that would be cool. Maybe in another life!

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