Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Black Bean, Shrimp & Quinoa Salad

While I knew I'd love the food memories this blog would help me create, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the memories its helped me recollect. Like one about the little nuggets below.  Beans.


My final winter CSA share delivery and my wonderful #FoodiePenPal package both included bags of black beans. It was a sign that it was finally time to move away from the canned alternative.  I've been meaning to cook beans from scratch forever, in that "I will clean out my closet and go to good will" kinda way.  You should, you know the end result will be good, but you keep putting it off.

Sifting through the beans, I flashed back to my dad and the family baked beans recipe. A recipe, I am now realizing, I have to get my hands on.  A recipe I can't tell you much about but a recipe I can vividly picture being prepared. I'd arrive in the kitchen in the morning, and there, in the sink, red beans would be soaking.  A signal that a BBQ or party was imminent.  

The single challenge of cooking beans is planning ahead to soak them. Otherwise, it's a really really easy process. 1) Soak the beans overnight covered in two inches of water.  2) Rinse the beans twice the next morning.  3) For every cup of beans, add two cups of water, a clove of garlic, a bay leaf and a half a teaspoon of ground cumin into a pot.  4) Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour until tender, adding more water if necessary.  Done! Easy!

                                        Pre-soak                             In the morning

Even if you don't find the time to prepare your own black beans, the salad below is a bright, healthy and perfectly summery meal.  It serves four quite happily.

Black Bean, Shrimp & Quinoa Salad
Modified courtesy of Pressing On 

Ingredients  
  • 1 cup uncooked white quinoa
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth 
  • 2 cups of rinsed, chopped kale 
  • 4 cups of cooked black beans
  • 1 cup chopped, fresh cilantro
  • 2 ripe avocados, pealed and diced
  • 1 lb medium shrimp, cleaned
  • Juice of three - four limes  
  • Zest of one lime
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • Salt & pepper
Directions
  • Rinse your quinoa, and place it in a pot with the two cups of stock.  Bring to a simmer, cooking for 20 - 25 minutes until the stock is absorbed. 
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter over medium heat in a saute pan, add the shrimp and saute 3-4 minutes a side.  Chop in half once cooled. 
  • Steam the kale for 2-3 minutes until tender.
  • Once the quinoa is cooked, fluff with a fork and then add the beans, kale, cilantro, avocado, shrimp salt, pepper, lime juice and zest and toss delicately to mix**.
** In a moment of total local gluttony, I snapped up a few soft shell crabs, simply sauteed them for two minutes a side in butter and served them on top of this salad. Totally d.i.v.i.n.e. but totally unnecessary.

About Quinoa
Quinoa is a super food.  High in protein, gluten free and rich in 8 essential amino acids like lysine, Quinoa is the ultimate grain.

1 comment:

  1. I still haven't shifted to dried beans. A year ago I told my Cuban step-mother-in-law that I fed my children canned beans. I swear she thought I should be jailed for the offense! I have a few midweek meals for you... I too suffered from havin to drastically change my food priorities!

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