Posts Tagged 'cherry tomato'

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.

Recipe:
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.

Grilled Eggplant Salad

Eggplant salad
I LOVE the smoky flavor grilled eggplant brings to baba ghannouj and baingan bartha, but those dishes can be a little heavy. When I saw this recipe linked on Thirty A Week I was immediately inspired.

I made a few changes based on my preferences and the ingredients that are available here, but this recipe is definitely a keeper! The smokiness from the eggplant is what makes this salad, but the citrus and all the fresh vegetables keep it light and perfect for summer. I added some cubes of tofu that I browned in a nonstick pan to make a light lunch, but grilled chicken breast would work well for that too.

(adapted from Food and Wine)

Dressing:
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp lemon zest
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 hot red chili pepper, minced

Whisk together dressing ingredients and set aside.

Salad:
2-3 Japanese eggplants (about 1 1/2 lbs total)
2 carrots, julienned
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 English cucumber (cut in half lengthwise, scrape out the soft middle part and slice thinly)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1-2 cubs cubed cooked tofu or chicken (optional)

Put the eggplants on a grill or right on a gas burner and cook until all the skin is charred and the eggplants are very soft.
IMG_7122
Set aside to cool, then scrape off all the charred skin and discard.
Cut into long, thin strips, and discard the seeds. Cut the strips into 1/2″ lengths, and mix with the dressing. Toss with the tofu or chicken, if using
Toss all remaining vegetables (carrots, tomatoes, cucumber, and cilantro) together in a serving bowl, then top with the dressing mixture.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds to serve.

Grilled Eggplant Salad

Eggplant salad
I LOVE the smoky flavor grilled eggplant brings to baba ghannouj and baingan bartha, but those dishes can be a little heavy. When I saw this recipe linked on Thirty A Week I was immediately inspired.

I made a few changes based on my preferences and the ingredients that are available here, but this recipe is definitely a keeper! The smokiness from the eggplant is what makes this salad, but the citrus and all the fresh vegetables keep it light and perfect for summer. I added some cubes of tofu that I browned in a nonstick pan to make a light lunch, but grilled chicken breast would work well for that too.

(adapted from Food and Wine)

Dressing:
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp lemon zest
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 hot red chili pepper, minced

Whisk together dressing ingredients and set aside.

Salad:
2-3 Japanese eggplants (about 1 1/2 lbs total)
2 carrots, julienned
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 English cucumber (cut in half lengthwise, scrape out the soft middle part and slice thinly)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1-2 cubs cubed cooked tofu or chicken (optional)

Put the eggplants on a grill or right on a gas burner and cook until all the skin is charred and the eggplants are very soft.
IMG_7122
Set aside to cool, then scrape off all the charred skin and discard.
Cut into long, thin strips, and discard the seeds. Cut the strips into 1/2″ lengths, and mix with the dressing. Toss with the tofu or chicken, if using
Toss all remaining vegetables (carrots, tomatoes, cucumber, and cilantro) together in a serving bowl, then top with the dressing mixture.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds to serve.



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