It’s been a little over a year since I started my vegetarian journey and, from what I hear, my path has taken a sadly typical trajectory. I started out completely unaware of what nutrients my body needed and thought by removing meat from my plate I could call it done. Uh, nope. That mistake, coupled with another minor medical issue, tossed me into the anemic party boat last May. So I learned about iron and vitamin B12 and slowly understood the real problem: the American diet sucks. Basically I had to relearn how to eat. (After 34 years I didn’t know how to eat??!) Now, a little over a year later, I’m tackling another half-marathon on a borderline vegan diet and scarfing down foods I’d barely heard of in 2012 like tempeh, quinoa, and chia seeds. Apparently these foods aren’t on most people’s radars since the application I’m using to type this wants to autocorrect tempeh to “temper” and chia to “china.” No angry Chinese, thank you.
This isn’t becoming a food blog, per se, but I wanted to share one of my new favorite meals that I’ve named Quinoa Salad—or sometimes Guacamole Salad, when convincing my four-year-old to eat it.
Quinoa Salad recipe
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 can black beans (I like Trader Joe’s Cuban Beans)
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Penzeys Arizona Dreaming spice mix (or similar)
¼ C red onion, chopped
1 large tomato, diced
1 large avocado, diced
Cook quinoa according to package directions while simmering beans, diced onions, and Arizona Dreaming spice on stovetop. Mix quinoa and bean mixture in a large bowl with the olive oil and refrigerate for a few minutes to cool. Toss in tomato and avocado and enjoy! I could see this being awesome with a little cilantro out of the garden, too. I’ll be trying that addition this summer.
Check out the stats on this baby!
Eat that, Subway.
By the way, I’ll be running as a St. Jude hero in the Grandma’s half marathon in Duluth this June. If anyone wants to help out these amazing kids, click here to go to my fundraising site!