Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

Remember how I was going to be really smart as I was getting back into running shape? And I’d never increase my mileage or intensity too quickly and I wouldn’t get injured?

Weeeelllll, I may have sort have overdone it just a little bit, and my right hip has been pretty cranky the last couple days. Fortunately there’s no way my hip will break because there are 3 titanium screws holding it together, but the pain in my hip flexor is not pleasant.

So I’ve decided to take a couple days off running. That means 5 AM spin classes and Jillian Michaels 6 Week Six-Pack for a little while, which is not my first choice, but I REALLY don’t want to miss any of the races I’ve signed up for.

Since I’ve been getting my workouts done at ridiculous pre-dawn hours, it leaves more afternoon time for baking. I made these crunchy-top orange chocolate chip muffins, and I’m not sure if I just completely spaced it or if there was a problem with the recipe but instead of crunchy-top I got melted-sugar-mess-top.

HOWEVER, the muffins themselves were super delicious, if you’re into the orange-chocolate combo. They’re very rich, but the flavor is amazing (especially if you sub semi-sweet chocolate chips for milk chocolate.)

Ellie was hanging out while I baked and at one point the light was so perfect I grabbed my camera and went just a little bit picture crazy.

I love this girl so much, it’s kind of unreal.

When you get into the afternoon baking habit, it’s quite helpful to simultaneously get into the healthy dinner habit, and this recipe can help you out with that. It’s kind of similar to this other black bean and quinoa salad but the fresh mozzarella is a nice addition (and the dressing is a little different). I served it over a bed of butter lettuce for dinner and packed the leftovers (without the lettuce) for lunch. It’s great both ways!

Quinoa, Black Bean & Tomato Salad


  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 TBSP fresh lime juice
  • 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (preferably sea salt)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3 cups (2 15-oz cans) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella (the kind packed in water), cut into 1/4-in. cubes
  • Butter lettuce, optional


  1. First, cook the quinoa. Bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the quinoa, cover and simmer on low until all liquid is absorbed (10-15 minutes). Remove from heat and keep covered for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
  2. Whisk the oil, garlic, lime juice, vinegar, salt, and cumin together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the grape tomatoes, black beans, quinoa, cilantro, and cheese together.
  4. Add the dressing and mix well.
  5. Serve over butter lettuce, if desired.

(adapted from Apple a Day)

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