hearty quinoa and black beans

I don’t live very close to any Whole Foods locations. I incorrectly thought that the two closest were each about 45 minutes away (one of them about 5 minutes from my work) but I discovered that there is one location closer. It’s still about 30 minutes away, a drive I wasn’t too inclined to make just for soy yogurt. Suddenly it dawned on me: when vegetarian-high-school-me was constantly getting sick (tonsilitis, mono, the whole nine), my mom took me to a local health foods store to get a specially-formulated vegetarian multivitamin. This was several years ago and I decided that the chance this store was still in business after the economy crashed was pretty unlikely. A quick google search and I found that they’re still up and running. At only a 5-minutes drive away, that’s a hell of a lot closer than Whole Foods!

I made a short list of things I wanted that I couldn’t find at a “normal” grocery store and we set out to scour the aisles of the alternative grocer. Also, they have an in-store smoothie bar that serves almost primarily vegan and gluten-free items, so that was a huge plus. πŸ™‚

I was able to pick up…

  • Quinoa (in bulk!)
  • Organic/vegan tortilla chips
  • Sliced almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Braggs liquid aminos
  • Light agave nectar
  • Two fresh smoothies from the smoothie bar (for me and the boyfriend) and…
  • A vegan brownie, bought entirely on a whim

(After all my excitement, completely forget to check if they had any soy yogurt w/o active milk cultures, d’oh!)

The prices weren’t cheap, as can be expected at an alternative grocery store. All in all, I spent about $43 on these purchases. But, I have a $5 off a $25 purchase coupon and I picked up a flyer for a free qigong class, which I might check out…who knows! The staff was very friendly and they have so many items in bulk–I almost picked up some steel cut oats but resisted because I am really working off a budget after my last paycheck…between the way the pay period fell and the huge increase in my health insurance premium, things are a little tight right now, to say the least.

So I came home and prepared this quinoa recipe. I had never eaten quinoa before but it was delicious. I made a few changes to the recipe–I added a lot more cumin and cayenne because the reviewers said that it was a little bland, I used a little bit less cilantro, and I used canned corn instead of frozen. I warmed up some pita bread and served it like this:

If you look closely, you can see that some of the quinoa split. Having never cooked it before, I’m not sure if this is normal. I did read that some quinoa should be soaked in water before cooked, which I didn’t do. Can anyone shed some light on proper quinoa preparation techniques?

My new yoga class starts tonight and I’m so excited. I took a fundamentals class that ended in mid-December and haven’t been back to my yoga studio yet, but they’re great and I’m glad I stumbled upon this specialty class. It meets 2 hours per week for 7 weeks and it’s aΒ  “yoga + book club” class. We’re going to be reading Women Food and God. I hope to be enlightened. That will be 6:30-8:30 pm on Sundays. What was the most inspiring class you ever took, whether it be yoga, some sort of other exercise, or even a school course?

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5 thoughts on “hearty quinoa and black beans

  1. wartica says:

    Good luck on your journey; those first steps are always the hardest but once you get going, anything is possible. Great post and I look forward to sharing more with you:)) BTW, you can never go wrong with Whole Foods :))))

    • Thanks! I was an off-and-on vegetarian for six years and just decided to take the plunge into veganism a few weeks ago. So far, so good. The main thing I thought I’d miss was cheese, but I haven’t even really craved it. I haven’t had to navigate eating out yet, which I’m sure will bring about a whole new set of challenges, but I’ve stumbled upon so many delicious recipes and new foods I’d never tried, which has made eating at home really simple so far. πŸ™‚

  2. Ah, that meal looks especially yummy! And books + yoga….I can think of nothing better. I’m a book lover, and I’ve recently started going to a weekly restorative yoga class, and I love it so much. πŸ™‚

    • My thoughts exactly! I was actually in search of a yoga class and a book group at the same time. When I saw the two combined, it was like I’d hit the jackpot! I haven’t tried restorative yoga but I’ve heard excellent things.

  3. […] have another half squash to eat after yoga tonight and I have oodles of leftover black bean and quinoa to get me through several work lunches this week. I love […]

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