Monday, July 11, 2011
You know what I (and my favorite coworker/friend) have discovered recently? That bringing your lunch and walking the half block to Central Park is so, so much better than trying to fit a trip to an annoying Manhattan restaurant on the Upper East Side into a one hour break. Even on 90 degree days it's better. Even in the humidity, sitting in the sun is better. There are vitamins in that sun! And tan lines to develop.
It's also much, much less expensive. So my game plan has been, make a delicious, nutritious and inexpensive grain salad on Monday (I'm off on Mondays), buy some fruit, and maybe grab one of these bad boys, and lunch is all set for the week. I'll admit that I'm okay with eating the same thing up to four lunches in a row, because that one thing changes all the time. And it really does save time to just make a big batch once and be done with it. Because honestly? I always order the same thing at Alice's Teacup anyway. (The tuna sandwich, if you're interested)
Quinoa Black Bean Salad
Adopted from The Moosewood Collective's Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites
2/3 cups quinoa
2 cups water
2 teaspoon olive oil
juice of 3 small limes
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
small handful chopped fresh cilantro
1 bunch of scallions, white and light-green parts minced
15-ounce can black beans, well rinsed and drained
3 medium-size tomatoes, diced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
1/2 green pepper, diced and seeded if you want to cut down on the heat
Salt and pepper to taste
Rinse the quinoa in a sieve under running water. In a medium pan, bring the 2 cups of water to a boil, add the quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 15 minutes, until all the water is absorbed, but check early so it doesn't dry out and burn. Remove from the heat and let cool.
In a large serving bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice, cumin, coriander, cilantro and scallions. Gently stir in the beans, tomatoes and bell peppers. Add the quinoa and season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently fold so that all of the ingredients are mixed. Serve and enjoy
UPDATE: The original recipe called for some seeded (I think) and diced chili pepper, but I skipped it, mostly because I forgot to pick one up (it happens). A reader pointed out that I mentioned it in the recipe, but not in the list of ingredients. So if you want something with a little more kick, definitely include the chili pepper!