Black Bean and Tomato Quinoa Recipe

On Mondays, Kristen Swensson of Cheap, Healthy, Good swings by these parts to share a healthy and delicious recipe with us. Today, a new dressing for eggplant.

One of the great drawbacks to dieting is the repetition of foods. Often, dieters discover what works for them and become afraid to change their routines, locking themselves in a vicious cycle of yogurt, popcorn, breakfast cereal, brown rice, steamed vegetables, and chicken breast. Eating this way can be monumentally boring, and it's easy to see why a person who values their sanity might avoid weight loss programs altogether.

Yet, if you've got the time and inclination, wholesome meals can be just as exciting as those dripping in butter and bacon. Take Black Bean and Tomato Quinoa, f'r instance. Hailing from the July 2007 issue of Gourmet Magazine and clocking in at less than 400 calories per (massive) serving, it gives healthy food a good name.

Perhaps it's the lime dressing, which infuses the dish with flavor without overwhelming it in goo. It could be the quinoa, which has a distinctive nutty taste far superior to white rice and its lamer brethren. Or, maybe it's the tomatoes, black beans, and scallions, which reminded one friend of "the insides of a really good burrito."

Whatever it is, it'll make you forget uninspired diet food. So will the $4 price tag and the 10 grams of fiber per serving (meaning, not only will your colon thank you, but the colon of the guy sitting next to you will be pretty impressed, too). All in all, not too shabby for a nutritious meal.

Recipe Facts

Total: 0 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 (14- to 15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Whisk together lime zest and juice, butter, oil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.

  2. Wash quinoa in 3 changes of cold water in a bowl, draining in a sieve each time.

  3. Cook quinoa in a medium pot of boiling salted water (1 tablespoon salt for 2 quarts water), uncovered, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in sieve, then set sieve in same pot with 1 inch of simmering water (water should not touch bottom of sieve). Cover quinoa with a folded kitchen towel, then cover sieve with a lid (don't worry if lid doesn't fit tightly) and steam over medium heat until tender, fluffy, and dry, about 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat and remove lid. Let stand, still covered with towel, 5 minutes.

  4. Add quinoa to dressing and toss until dressing is absorbed, then stir in remaining ingredients and salt and pepper to taste.