Colorful Quinoa with Black Beans and Veggies

The weather is finally starting to get nice in Pullman with our first 80 degree day since I can't remember when!  I spent most of yesterday (Sunday) reading on my sunny porch and relaxing.  It was just what I needed!  Later that night, there was a huge thunderstorm that rolled through town, so Kevin and I went up to the observatory on campus to watch from a great vantage point.  Below is a picture from a friend on Facebook who has quick-fire reflexes to get this picture!

This next week promises even more great weather, so I wanted to make a big batch of a recipe to eat for the rest of the week so I could be out more in the sun making up for those months of not enough vitamin D!  Also, because I'm moving out in less than two weeks, I'm trying to use up a bunch of the food I have laying around.  So here it is: (I apologize for the not so great pictures, I had to use my computer screen camera, which involved quite a bit of juggling and maneuvering.  I had forgotten my camera at Kevin's house.)

Colorful Quinoa with Black Beans and Veggies

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained in a fine mesh strainer
  • 1 3/4 cup filtered water
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 cup cooked black beans, or 1/2 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 bell peppers, diced, any colors
  • 1/2 large bunch of green onion, sliced thinly
  • handful cilantro, roughly chopped
  1. In a small mesh strainer, rinse and drain the uncooked quinoa.  In a small saucepan on the stovetop, toast the quinoa for 1-2 minutes, adding very small amounts of water as not to burn, until the quinoa has a nutty smell.  Add in the water, stir once, heat to a simmer, and cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients.  Take one of the avocados and mix it in a small bowl with the juice from one lemon.  Stir until creamy.  In a large bowl, combine the beans, bell pepper, green onion, cilantro, and the other avocado, chopped.  Pour the avocado lemon dressing on the veggies and beans, and mix well.
  3. When the quinoa is done cooking, remove it from the heat.  Add the turmeric, cayenne pepper, cumin, and soy sauce into the cooked quinoa and stir well to mix the flavors.  Taste and add more spices as desired.
  4. Allow the quinoa to cool for 5-10 minutes, then mix into the veggie salad.  Serve at room temperature or chilled by itself or on top of leafy greens.
Amy's Notes:

If you don't have turmeric, add other spices to get the taste that you desire.  The turmeric in this recipe is what made my quinoa such a beautiful color of yellow-orange.  Another interchangeable spice to get a similar color would be saffron.

I had a reader express interest in doing somewhat of a book club this summer with my reading list from my last post.  As I am finishing up school, I won't be able to start the first of my books for a few more weeks, which would give readers who would like to join plenty of time to get the book in the mail and start to read at your own pace.  I will be first reading Super Immunity, by Dr. Fuhrman and I will start reading on Monday, May 21st and will talk about the book as I progress through it.  I'm going to look into doing a few book giveaways this summer, so make sure to watch for that!

If you have already read one or more of these books, I encourage you to watch for when I write about them and put in your opinion and what you got out of each. :)

Here is my reading list for this summer:
Super Immunity, by Dr. Joel Fuhrman,
The Vegan Diet as Chronic Disease Prevention, by Karrie K. Saunders,
The Pleasure Trap, by Douglas Lisle, PhD,
Thrive, by Brenden Brazier,
The Beauty Detox Solution, by Kimberly Snyder,
How I Conquered Cancer Naturally, by Eydie Mae Hunsberger with Chris Loeffler, and
Eating and Fasting For Health, by Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Will you be joining me with any of the books I have on my list?  Do you have another suggestion to add to my book list?


  1. I am a very slow reader, but I will be reading some of those books for sure.I will chime in when I can. You might find some other book ideas for future reading on http://thekitchenreader.wordpress.com/ which is an online book club all diet/food related.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to look into that. -Amy

  2. How many servings is the quinoa meal? I think it would make a great lunch for me.

    1. I found that it made about 5 servings for me, so perfect for a work week lunch. I ate mine a few times by itself and one or two times on top of mixed greens, which may have made it spread a bit farther than normal. Hope you enjoy :)- Amy

  3. Hi Amy! I will try to read as many of these with you as I can. I have already read Thrive and definitely enjoyed it but have found some of his recipes to be more nut- and grain-heavy than Eat to Live recommends.

    Looking forward to the "book club" and will work on getting Super Immunity ASAP. Good luck with your exams!

    1. p.s. Have you read Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr? That's another one I've been thinking of reading. I think she does a lot of juicing, which I'm pretty unfamiliar with.

    2. I'm glad you'll be reading along with me Laura! I actually saw that book the other day at B&N and was thinking of picking it up. Maybe I will add it in near the end of the summer if that sounds good to you and whoever else would like to read along :)- Amy