Sunday, May 12, 2013

Quinoa Pinto Bean Salad

Once every three or four months, I launch an eat-down in my kitchen. This is when I stop buying more and more food and instead focus on consuming and enjoying all the wonderful food that is jammed into my fridge, freezer and pantry. Eat-down weeks are my favorite because this is when I'm using my creativity rather than strict recipes to come up with meals. You never know what you will find. Yesterday, I found a jar of date-tamarind chutney in the freezer. Yay for impromptu sev puri.

In the fridge was a partial jar of habanero lime salsa, two avocados that were getting dangerously mushy, a few sprigs of cilantro and one plump red pepper. Add to that some quinoa and pinto beans from the pantry and this is what I came up with- a quinoa pinto bean salad that was an instant hit with my post-quilting lunch buddies. This salad uses a lot of trendy ingredients like avocado and quinoa that are touted for their health benefits, but the reason you'll want a second helping is because it just tastes so good. This recipe happens to be vegan and gluten-free. It would be excellent for lunch boxes and picnic hampers.

Quinoa Pinto-Bean Salad


1. Rinse 1 measure (3/4 cup quinoa) well, then cook it in a rice cooker or on the stove-top. Let cool.

2. Soak 1 cup pinto beans overnight and pressure cook them until tender. Drain and cool. Canned beans would work well here too.

3. Add the following to a large bowl:
Cooked quinoa from step 1
Cooked pinto beans from step 2
2 ripe avocados, diced
1 large red pepper, diced
2 tbsp. minced raw onion
handful of cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup salsa

4. Make a dressing by whisking together 3 tbsp. olive oil, juice of 1 lemon, salt, pepper, cumin and coriander powder and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Add the dressing to the bowl and toss all the ingredients together gently. Taste and adjust the balance of salt and lemon juice.

5. Chill for an hour or two, then serve cold or at room temperature.

*** *** ***
For many years, I've been using Google Reader to get updates on the hundreds of blogs that I regularly read. Well, Google Reader is set to retire soon, so I recently switched over to another reader named Feedly, which is working out quite nicely. I'm taking this opportunity to spring-clean the list of blogs that I follow, to go through and cull the ones that I find are no longer relevant to me, and unsubscribe from those that are dormant. At the same time, I'd love to discover some new blogs to enjoy, and I'm asking for your recommendations:

In the comments, will you please link to one or two or three blogs that you absolutely love? They don't have to be food blogs.

And, if you're a food blogger, will you please leave links to one or two recipes on your blog that are your must-try recipes? I'll choose a few and try them and blog about them.

If you write a blog on another topic, please leave a link to any post that you'd like to share.

Normally, leaving links to one's blog in the comments is not considered good etiquette, but this time, I'm inviting you to do so, so that we can find some inspiration from each other. Thank you for playing along, and I wish you a bright and happy week.

44 comments:

  1. What a coincidence! I'm eating down too at the moment. No groceries this week except fresh fruit and yoghurt :)
    I have some quinoa so will use that up with your recipe. I don't follow many blogs being more of a podcast person but since my brother is a travel blogger I do keep up with his travel writing friends. Two blogs that I especially admire are: 1) Abigail king from insidetravellab. Her writing I find is exceptionally good.
    2) second is Jodi ettenberg from legalnomads who writes about her food travels.
    Look fwd to some book blog suggestions in the thread
    Arpita..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I don't think I have a single travel blog on my list. These blogs will make for some nice armchair travel.
      I don't listen to podcasts at all- no idea why, but it just isn't my thing (yet).

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    2. I enjoy podcasts because many of them have great content, are free and enable you to multitask while listening to them. I load my favorite one up on the weekend and enjoy them during the week. The BBC have a number of good ones: I like the desert island discs, each week a person in the public eye is chosen and asked to choose 7-8 pieces of music that influenced them. Not only is it a chance to sample music but to learn about the motivational influences in different people's lives. I liked the vikram Seth one. The bbc food programme is also quite informative. One week they talked about the quality of school lunches in the UK and how a little girl blogging about her school food had forced the school to introduce healthier lunches.The national art gallery of London does an excellent podcast describing different pieces of art and artists. So podcasts are my way of fueling my various interests.
      Arpita

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  2. I love a good quinoa salad. You had all the ingredients to give it a south of the border twist. I do the same with leftover whatevers - add them to couscous or quinoa or rice. I made a deep dish pizza with all the leftover vegetables on Friday night. Time for new groceries :)

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    Replies
    1. Mmm- deep dish pizza, that's good stuff.

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  3. Few of the blogs I read these days are :

    http://attic24.typepad.com/
    http://bunnymummy-jacquie.blogspot.com/
    http://www.littletinbird.co.uk/

    Hope you like them too.
    Sapna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I see a theme- crochet and color! Love Lucy's blog but am happy to find the other two, so thanks Sapna.

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  4. I too switched over to feedly and did a sprig cleaning on my blog reader. I also recently started writing a blog partly inspired by you. It has very few posts at the moment and I dont think it is worthy of being followed by you but here it is : nikitagovil.blogspot.com. I want to write about food and crafts I do with my toddler daughter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't sell yourself short! Your blog looks great- that Cinco de Mayo party post is making me so hungry.

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    2. Thanks for the encouraging words!

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  5. Hi Nupur, I have been following your blog for a long. long time - some of my absolute favorite recipes come from you! I wish I could write about food, too - but I'm just not that good of a cook! :-))
    Do visit my blog, Coolkarnis in China - www.magssk.blogspot.com - it's about my experiences as an expat in - where else - China!
    Looking forward to many more delicious recipes from you!
    -Gauri

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What fun, Gauri- I really enjoyed your post about the terracotta army.

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  6. Hey Nupur,

    Hope you had a great Mother's Day! I love all the ingredients in this salad so I am going to make it this week itself. Thank you so much! Here are some blogs/sites I recommend:

    www.spiceroots.com by my friend Anshie for her authentic Kashmiri food and very creative healthy recipes. I have cooked a lot from her blog and I am in love with Kashmiri cuisine.

    www.finelychopped.net is a very interesting blog by Kalyan Karmakar who conducts these themed 'food walks' around Mumbai. I love to read about the places he visits, the food they eat and the people he meets. Very interesting indeed.

    I would highly recommend www.theperennialplate.com by this couple who are food touring around the world. Their 1 min breathtaking videos that are so amazing. Here's the link: http://www.theperennialplate.com/episodes-all/
    All videos are must-see but two videos that I have seen repeatedly are 'A Day in India' and 'Tea for Two'.

    I can't wait to check out the blogs recommended by others. I love you for coming up with such great questions for your readers that make their comments a great resource filled with helpful information. I also appreciate you replying all of us.

    - Priti

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    Replies
    1. Priti, I really enjoyed the videos from the perennial plate. The two you recommended were amazing. Thanks for sharing. And many thanks to Nupur for creating the opportunity to hear from readers!

      Priya

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    2. Priti- I love love love all three of your suggestions, and can't wait to read more. Thanks so much!!!

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    3. Loved the perennial plate blog Priti. Have spent the last hour looking at videos..favorite one so far is the Two Options one. Thanks for the link.

      -Anu

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    4. I am so glad you all liked The Perennial Plate. Reminded me of the way I felt when I had just discovered them.

      - Priti

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  7. Hi Nupur,

    I'm eating through our pantry and freezer too. I actually cleaned out my pantry and put everything that I want to finish on one shelf, same thing with the fridge. This way it's all in one place and I know exactly what needs to be finished. I have very little quinoa left, not enough for this recipe but, have Israeli couscous, I think it'll work in this recipe. I also have a can of pinto beans so, hooray! Thanks for the recipe.

    -Anu

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    Replies
    1. Anu- Israeli couscous or any other grain/pasta, or a combination would be right at home in this dish. If you try it, let us know if you like it :)

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  8. 1) Paper/ Plate - http://www.paperplatesblog.com/
    Combines food and books...whats not to love :) And why didnt I think of it before?!!
    2) Econest - http://econest.blogspot.com.au/
    How to live a better and sustainable life
    3)Nourished Kitchen - http://nourishedkitchen.com/
    Cooking traditional foods.
    4) Jabberwock - http://jaiarjun.blogspot.in/
    Books, movies, reviews. I love Jaiarjun's writing.
    Many more but I will restrain myself. Please do a post later on the new ones you like so we come to know of them too. Enjoy!!
    - Ashwini

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    Replies
    1. What a fun fun line up, Ashwini!! Thanks you for giving me lots of fresh blogs to read!

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    2. PAPER/PLATES — that's me! Thanks to anonymous for sharing this and for introducing me to your blog. I'll be adding you to my reading list :)

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  9. The salad looks and sounds delicious Nupur, much like most of your recipes. I know how much you love your dals, so I think you will definitely enjoy this way of cooking it (one of my personal favourites!) - http://www.hookedonheat.com/2008/06/25/after-much-needed-comfort-chana-dal-masala/.

    Also, this mushroom dish is another favourite from my kitchen - http://www.hookedonheat.com/2011/10/22/no-can-do-masala-mushrooms/. Hope you enjoy them!

    - Meena

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh just look at that mouthwatering mushroom dish! Thanks, Meena.

      Delete
  10. I like the idea of eat-down, I have to do this.. my problem is, every time I go to the Indian store, I pick up something.. sigh! It is a vicious circle.

    since you have quinoa, maybe you would like to consider trying these:
    http://acookatheart.blogspot.com/2013/01/mini-quinoa-and-bean-burgers-in-pita.html

    Many readers like these methi Parathas:
    http://acookatheart.blogspot.com/2011/12/methi-parathas.html

    And these cutlets, they are a bit labor intensive, but worth it:
    http://acookatheart.blogspot.com/2010/07/stuffed-vegetable-cutlets.html

    On the blog reading front:
    I read and many a times just look at cake decoration blogs to pick up ideas and hints. Too many to list.

    for many small tips around the house I also read:

    http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh those quinoa burgers I would definitely love to try! I do love ogling at cake decor blogs too but it is strictly a spectator sport for me ;) Thanks so much.

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  11. Logged on by chance n checked this post, am gonna follow the comments here would love to check out new blogs n posts .. nice initiative :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Nupur
    you know the art of asking the right questions!!!

    Archana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now are you going to answer them? ;)

      Delete
  13. Even I've shifted to feedly just last week but i have been trying to use its organize the feeds but unable to , any suggestions on tat ?
    sorry not related to your post but had to ask this to fellow feedly user ..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is an 'Organize' link below your name on the top right part of the page. You can create categories and drop blogs into those categories.
      Hope that is what you were looking for.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for chiming in, Nikita! On my feedly page, I see an icon in the top left- it has three horizontal lines- and hovering on it opens up options that include "organize".

      Delete
  14. Hi Nupur,

    I make it a point to visit these blogs. I guess you have heard about the first one:

    1)On minimalistic living: http://zenhabits.net/

    2)Personal blog of an Indian woman bringing up three kids and who has lived/is living in different parts of the world : http://daofto.com/

    3)http://www.rakskitchen.net/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Yes, I read Zen Habits regularly. Rak's Kitchen looks very tasty.

      Delete
  15. My top favorite of all time:
    101cookbooks.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. So many lovely blogs out there, but if I had to pick three from which I cook the most, then those would be http://vadanikavalgheta.com/, http://the-cooker.blogspot.com/, and http://holycowvegan.net/, because these lovely ladies post about just the kind of food I want to eat!

    I know you said 3, but I couldn't help give a shoutout to http://annaparabrahma.blogspot.com/ and http://theheirloomessence.blogspot.com/ which are always a source of inspiration. My guess is you already know about most of these, except the last one.

    As for a must try recipe from my own blog, I would heartily recommend the tiramisu which has never failed even once:
    http://evolvingtastes.blogspot.com/2013/01/tiramisu-and-belated-bloggiversary.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I regularly read Vadani... and Holy Cow and Anna Parabrahma. Also The Cooker but she's barely been posting in recent months. The Heirloom essence is new to me.

      Oh your tiramisu looks SO good, I'll have to try it for sure.

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  17. I've been missing Google Reader very badly, so thank you so much for suggesting 'feedly'. I'll definitely look into it.
    Your quinoa & pinto bean salad sounds delicious.
    Haven't been browsing much these days -- so no suggestions for new blogs. But I can suggest couple of dishes from my blog to try :-)
    ** Raw Mango Salad - My mom in India tried it after I told her the recipe and they loved it: http://cooks-hideout.blogspot.com/2013/05/raw-mango-masala-curry.html
    ** Soy Methi Rice - So simple to put together, but so tasty: http://cooks-hideout.blogspot.com/2013/04/soy-methi-rice.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh those both sound so good- I'll have to look for raw mango and methi!

      Delete
  18. Hello from a freshly minted cook and New Yorker! I just moved to NY with my hubby and have started cooking for the first time in my life (and am surprisingly enough enjoying myself!) I stumbled upon your blog from the veggie-ventures blog while looking for vegetarian recipes.

    I think your blog is going to be an oft-frequented one for me. The recipes cry out to be tried and the look and feel of your blog is inviting!

    While I don't have any food blogs I can recommend here's two of my favorite book blogs:

    http://www.thingsmeanalot.com/
    http://litlove.wordpress.com/

    Juhi @ http://wordsamany.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
  19. I must launch eat-downs in my kitchen too. Sounds like a good way to use up things that languish in the pantry and freezer for weeks and, in my case, years. :)Every now and then I will find something in the back of the pantry that I have no memory of buying.
    I've been trying to cook more with non-rice grains too, and as much as I love quinoa, the last batch I bought was sitting in my pantry unused for months. Just used it in a recipe that also combines this wonder grain with beans-- kala chana. Your salad sounds creative and looks delicious.

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  20. Sorry, maybe i am a bit late. Love your idea Nupur.
    I recommend SheShimmers a thai blog, David Lebovitz and The Wednesday Chef.You must be familiar with them?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hey Nupur - I was in Pune over the weekend and glancing through the newspaper, when I chanced upon a very familiar image - your header image! One Hot Stove was featured in their blog of the week and they have some nice stuff to say about you. I thought you'd like to know. Here's a link. Hope it works.

    http://lite.epaper.timesofindia.com/getpage.aspx?pageid=20&pagesize=&edid=&edlabel=PMIR&mydateHid=18-05-2013&pubname=&edname=&publabel=MM

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to say hello!