Summertime Black Beans with Quinoa

Last night’s meal was a celebration of summer! It was also a celebration of preparedness. I worked late, got irritated with what I was doing at work, got a headache (which I first blamed on my work but later realized I forgot to take my headache medicine in the morning; damn, I keep hoping I’ll be able to go off that stuff), and was annoyed. I also wanted something simple for dinner like a salad, and I had a ton of fresh vegetables at home (I don’t know how I live without the farmers market during the off-season), but I knew there was no lettuce in the house and didn’t feel like stopping at the store just for that, mostly because of the working late and headache. But then I remembered that the night before I had cooked Future Renae up a mess of black beans! Suddenly my attitude brightened! I drove home and in little time was serving this:

Summertime Black Beans and Quinoa

1 cup quinoa (I used multi-colored)
2 cups vegan broth or water
1 ear of corn, shucked and kernels removed
2 spring onions, chopped (thinly slice some of the green parts and reserve separately)
2 or 3 garlic scapes chopped (or a couple of cloves of garlic)
1 small summer squash, chopped (I used patty pan)
1 jalapeno, minced
1 or 2 tomatoes, depending on size, chopped
a little bit of vegan broth
3 cups cooked black beans
salt, to taste
1 avocado, peeled and chopped
lemon or lime wedges

Rinse the quinoa. Put some oil in a medium pot, then saute the quinoa for a few minutes until lightly toasted. Add the 2 cups of broth (or water) in a medium pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.

Cook the corn kernels in a small amount of water for a few minutes until soft, then drain. If you have super-fresh corn, you might be able to skip this step. I had really good corn and probably didn’t need to pre-cook it.

Meanwhile, heat some oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, and add the garlic scapes (or garlic) and green onions. After a minute or two, add the summer squash and jalapeno. Saute for about 5 minutes then add the tomatoes. Saute another few minutes, then add the black beans and corn. Cook until beans are warmed through. Add a little broth to keep things from getting too dry – I threw in 3 ice cubes of homemade veggie stock and let them melt. Season with salt to taste; I sprinkled it with a bit of a finishing salt.

Serve with the avocado, garnishing with lemon or lime wedges to be squeezed generously over the beans. Also top with the reserved green onions (which I totally forgot to do for the picture).

I thought I’d spice things up by flipping my placemat over and photographing the “cheerful” (or, according to Mark, “hideous”) side. This is me attempting to put effort into my food photography. So sad.

It wreaked havoc with my white balance, even though I manually calculated it with a gray card. Maybe the same old black is better after all? I haven’t changed the light in my dining room, not that my food photos ever looked great, but the last few I’ve taken have looked horribly unappetizing. Trust me, this looked much nicer in person.

This also made a very nice, refreshing lunch today.

And now, a chipmunk.

My mother thinks he has a cocaine problem. Nope, just sunflower seeds!

You know who you guys haven’t seen in a while? Torticia …

… and Gomez!

This is a game we play with Mezzie. He is obsessed with pipe cleaners, so Mark sticks them around the house in increasingly difficult places for Mez to get to. Hanging them from the ceiling fan pull is entertaining in that Mez will make these amazing straight leaps to get them down, but also kinda stupid because every time he does, he changes the speed on the fan. So it’s been a million degrees and Gomez keeps turning the ceiling fan off. But we keep doing it. 🙂

(PS, guess what? It’s only 88 degrees here today! NOT 110! It’s…wonderful.)


  1. Josiane Said,

    July 10, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

    Oh, yes! It’s the same thing every year: when fresh, local produce is abundantly available, I too wonder how on Earth we got (and will get) through all those winter months without it…

  2. radioactivegan Said,

    July 11, 2012 @ 12:45 am

    that’s so great! you need to hang a camera above the pipe cleaners to get some action shots! 🙂

  3. Lisa Goldstein Kieda Said,

    July 11, 2012 @ 10:35 am

    Love the flying cat and the books in the background and the fantastically yummy food. I’m ready to move in! Love the energy in your home. Good luck with the headaches… very annoying.

    Loving Tucson although every day is 104-108 degrees. Went to an awesome Ethiopian restaurant the other day. Have you ever tried making injera? It’s on my to-try list. Perhaps if you could perfect the recipe and post it, my job will be easier!

    Take care. Lisa G/K

  4. Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy Said,

    July 11, 2012 @ 11:37 am

    haha oh my gosh that chipmunk is the cutest! and YUM! what a delicious looking meal!

  5. renae Said,

    July 11, 2012 @ 9:47 pm

    Lisa, some of the books in those stacks came from you! Yes, I’ve tried making injera before and I’m sorry to say it was a horrible failure. I ended up trashing it and driving 45 minutes to the closest Ethiopian grocery store to buy some. Kittee has a gluten-free recipe in Papa Tofu Loves Ethiopian Food that I’ve been meaning to try. I’m sure I’ll give it another go at some point and perhaps do a post, but if you try it before and are successful, let me know!

  6. Jes Said,

    July 12, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

    Oh man, I’m jealous of your preparedness–that salad looks amazing and I wish I could just throw it together when I get home tonight! (As for looking amazing, it really does, I like both the black & the bright colored mats.)

    Hopefully your day’s been a little better today!

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