However, as of recent, I am finding it quite hard to be able to make and eat my salad over the lunch hour while the little one is awake. Olivia (our little nugget) is still taking two naps per day around 10am and again at 3pm (thank the Lord!). I am kind of dreading the switch from two naps to one. Though the one nap will become longer it means I will only have one break during the day instead of the two I currently have. Her current nap schedule has her rising right before noon, which is when my belly starts letting me know it is ready for meal #2. Unfortunately, my little explorer is way too busy being busy to give mommy time to prepare her salad and eat it. Additionally, she has made it quite clear that patience is a concept yet to be discovered. The last month or so has found me eating whatever healthy and uber convenient snack I can get down mid-day to tide me over until I can make and eat a salad when she naps at 3pm. Not ideal considering I'm one of those people who becomes irritable and light-headed when I am hungry.
The bones of this recipe came from a salad I found on Oh She Glows so I'm not taking credit for this colorful creation. I simply added a few ingredients to Angela Liddon's already delicious dish and voila, this salad was born. If you've read any of my other food-related blog posts then you know that I love a versatile recipe. This salad does not dissappoint in that area. You can easily sub cubed and roasted sweet potatoes or butternut squash for the carrots. Additionally, you could toss some diced mango on top or swap chickpeas for black beans. I love that you can put your own twist on this recipe using ingredients you like and have on hand. Be creative and use the recipe below as a starting point!
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup (or 1 can, drained and rinsed) cooked black beans
3-4 medium carrots, shredded
1 bell pepper, chopped
4-5 green onions, chopped
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 avocado, sliced
3 Tbs fresh lime juice (1 lime)
2 Tbs olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin (+ more to taste)
1 tsp pure maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1) Add 1.5 cups water (or veggie broth) plus quinoa to pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover with a lid. Let simmer for 15 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed. Let sit for 5 minutes then fluff with a fork and place in refrigerator to chill.
2) While quinoa is cooking place lime juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, maple syrup and sea salt in a small bowl and whisk to mix.
3) Once quinoa is cool add black beans, carrots, bell pepper, green onions and cilantro to same bowl. Pour dressing over the top then stir to coat.
4) Spoon into serving bowls and lay 3-4 avocado slices over the top of each bowl. Top with a little more chopped cilantro and sprinkle of salt and pepper (optional). Enjoy!