Summer Black Bean Quinoa Bowls

I’ve been on summer break since June 10th.  Almost 2 months.  I had a few things on my summer to-do list, one of which happened to be visiting the Thursday morning farmers market which cannot be more than 2 miles from my house.  And yet it took me almost two months to actually go.  And now I’m pretty irritated with myself that it took me that long because it was AMAZING.   Huge, reasonably priced, lots of organic stuff, lots of variety…

Even though it was cold and drizzly, the place was pretty packed (and I didn’t get there until the last hour).  I had a list, but ended up buying about 3 times more than I planned on because everything looked so good.

That’s just a little glance at the awesomeness that came home with me: 2 kinds of kale, nectarines, strawberries, apricots, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumbers,  an eggplant, a HUGE bunch of basil… I also got some grapes that looked highly appealing but ended up being gross and sour.  BUMMED.

Multiple caprese salads have been consumed since this little market outing.  Best lunch ever.

I also happened to drive by my school on the way to the market and saw cars in the parking lot.  I figured people would be back sometime in August, but wasn’t sure which date.  I was SO excited to get back into my classroom (the floors are SO CLEAN!), see my principal, and pick up a few things to work on for my sub.

Ohhh California Physical Science Teacher’s Edition, I’ve missed you.

I’ve tried to get myself back on track with meal planning after winging it for the past few weeks, but this was one of those winging it meals that worked out really well.  It feels kind of ridiculous writing a recipe for it, because it’s incredibly flexible and you can really adapt it however you choose based on what you have on hand.  But I was so in love with the combination I put together that I’m going to list what I did. It’s PERFECT for summer because it includes both zucchini and cherry tomatoes, both of which are insanely fresh and delicious right now. Summer, please don’t go anywhere.

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water or vegetable broth
a pinch of salt
2-3 cups black beans, drained
1/2 tsp chili powder
a big pinch onion powder <– (I hardly ever use this…but we happen to have some around for some reason)
1 tbsp olive oil
4 small zucchini, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
a big pinch or two red pepper flakes
1-2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
a few tbsp of your favorite salsa
1 avocado, diced

Start with quinoa: Combine the quinoa and broth or water (with a pinch of salt) in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn heat to low. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat but keep covered.

Heat the beans in another pan with the chili powder and onion powder (add more to taste if needed).

In a medium skillet, saute the zucchini in the olive oil with the garlic and pepper flakes until tender and golden-brown.

Assemble the bowls: Start with a big scoop of quinoa (fluff with a fork first), then top with beans, cherry tomatoes, avocado, zucchini, and salsa. Sour cream would be nice here too, if you're so inclined.

2 Responses to “Summer Black Bean Quinoa Bowls”

  1. 1 Naomi August 6, 2011 at 7:44 am

    I started weekly visits to the Farmers Market again this summer and I love it! It’s gotten me hooked on cherry tomatoes! But I’ve found that for me, I have to go with a plan in mind to be selective about what I buy, if not, I buy too much and I struggle to eat it all before it goes bad! I think I’ll take this recipe with me next week – it sounds yummy!

  2. 2 Kate August 7, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Is the farmer’s market year-round? Because it would be a great trip to make with mini-Cate when she rolls around.

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