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Black Bean, Quinoa & Citrus Salad combines fresh flavors like avocado, citrus and sweet corn into a filling, healthy salad.


Check out this upgrade!


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


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.


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


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!


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?!


That is is WELL worth it when you consider the amount of gas I can save this summer by biking to nearby 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!

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!


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


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




(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,


dried cranberries,


corn on off the cob,


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

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diced avocado,


and chopped cilantro.


Look at those lay-ahs of flav-ahs!


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.




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.


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


tossed everything together, and DOVE IN.


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


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.


Flavor & textures gone wild!


Black Bean, Quinoa & Citrus Salad


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


Serves 3-4

  • 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


  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.


Slightly adapted from Eat, Live, Run

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.



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!