I’ve missed blogging so much…I am really overdue for a post. Not only do I feel I have a responsibility to my you all, my fabulous and inspiring readers, to come up with recipes and accompanying photos, I have to admit there’s a selfish motivation backing this blog as well. Cooking/baking + photography is a stress reliever as well as a creative outlet for me. At the same time, the actual writing part has been more difficult these past few weeks yet I’ve missed all of you dearly in addition to being in the kitchen.
There are many changes going on in my personal life right now…I am an emotional roller coaster to say the least and I am taking one day at a time as I am experiencing a level of sadness and grieving that I’ve never had to before. At the same time, I feel stronger every day as my crying outbursts diminish and my negative feelings are turning into more positive ones. I realize I am being vague but please bear with me as I find myself and my strength with each day that passes, I will eventually be back in full swing again!
Not to mention, I’ve been without internet for the past 11 days so I am happy to report that issue has been remedied this evening…one thing to mark off on my check list. Things are looking up 🙂
While this might not be a crazy creative recipe, it’s very fitting for where I am right now: simple ingredients, good carbs, healthy fats and light summer flavors…this translates into a serotonin rush and a full, happy tummy. Eaten alongside a few of my salted millionaire shortbread bars, I am momentarily transported to my happy place 🙂
This easy grain salad can be made with your favorite gluten free grains, I chose quinoa, millet and amaranth but brown rice, buckwheat or sorghum could also do the trick! If you prefer one grain in particular, feel free to use 1 full cup for an even simpler dish. This recipe is an easy side, quick make-ahead lunch or a filling vegetarian entree…it’s up to you!
Mixed Grain Salad with Avocado and Black Beans
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (red or white)
1/2 cup uncooked amaranth grain or millet or 1/4 cup of each (I used 1/4 cup both)
2 cups vegetable broth or stock
1 Tbsp coconut oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil or Earth Balance, divided
3/4 cup onion, diced (or even 4 scallions, diced for a variation)
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or one 15 oz can rinsed and drained)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped + more for garnish
juice from 1 lime
1 avocado, pit removed and diced into chunks
1/4 cup walnuts (sunflower seeds, pepitas, almonds or your favorite nut can be substituted)
sea salt and pepper to taste
Optional: nutritional yeast or dairy free shredded cheddar cheese for serving
1. To a medium pot, add quinoa, amaranth/millet, vegetable broth and 1 tsp oil. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes until liquid is absorbed and grains are cooked through. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
2. In a small skillet, heat 2 tsp oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute for about 3-4 minutes until onions are translucent and tender. Toss in the black beans, garlic and ground cumin, cooking for one minute or until fragrant. Remove from heat.
3. Transfer grains to a large mixing bowl. Add onion-bean mixture and toss to combine. Stir in remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with additional cilantro and nutritional yeast or cheese if desired and enjoy!
I ‘ll leave you with a quote that has resonated with me recently:
“When your heart speaks, take good notes.”