Sunny Chili Chopped Salad

We have suddenly gone from amazing summer like weather here in Massachusetts to bitter winds chilling the bones. Can I have spring? Please? I know it technically is spring… but I want to enjoy going outside.

My mom at the moment is in the hospital, and I brought her a couple of magazines. I happened to come across a really good recipe in there for a similar salad.. but I wanted to tweak it a bit to more of my liking. Meat has been hurting my stomach lately, but I’m still trying to have a rounded diet of the right foods. I don’t want to skimp on protein. Quinoa is becoming one of my favorite staples for a great source of filling protein. I have been sticking with Trader Joe’s mixed colored quinoa to add a little life to my meals. As you have come to know, I love color. Brighter the better.

The original recipe is from Fitness Magazine by Chloe Coscarelli (Chloe’s Kitchen:125 easy, delicious recipes for making the food you love the vegan way), but her’s is called “California Chipotle Chopped Salad”. This is my version of her salad.

For this you will need:

  • 4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Honey
  • 1/8 cup lime juice
  • 1/8 cup orange juice
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chili pepper powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce cut or torn. Or you can use one of those prepackaged salad mix with the carrots like I did
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced up
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro

1. Read the instructions for cooking your quinoa and get that started first.

2. While that is cooking:In a saucepan, use 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Place your beans, garlic, chili powder, and salt in the saucepan and heat for 5 minutes or so. Cool.

3. Get a large salad bowl and combine your lettuce mix, onions, tomatoes, avocados, chopped cilantro, quinoa, and bean mixture. Lightly toss.

4. For your homemade vinaigrette: place your 3 tablespoons of olive oil, your vinegar, honey, lime and orange juice in a blender. Puree it and put in a serving cup. I like personally putting my dressing on myself, and I don’t put it on the entire thing before serving.

The other nice thing about this meal is that it is supposed to feed 4 people… but I feel like it would feed more than that. It’s gluten free and muy delicious!

I also have been in love with my streak- dyed bowls I got from Urban Outfitters:

The purple one is being used for my dinner tonight >_< lol

And I’m still trying to decide what to do with this new platter I picked up at a Flea Market with Erin and her boyfriend Ryan:

The guy wanted 50 dollars for it but I talked him down to 25. It's handmade, and I just had to have it.

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