Saturday, August 22, 2009

Mexi-Hippie Chow

I love mexican food, but it doesn't always fit into my green and lean lifestyle - what with all the fried chips, flour tortillas, and loads of cheese. But today I have discovered a way to enjoy the flavors of mexican food without the guilt or massive calories.

I have no idea what to name this meal. I don't even know if I can call it a salad. It's sort of like beans and rice, and it sort of like a fresh salsa, and it's sort of like a corn and tomato salad. Except that it's not really like any of those things at all because it's SO much better.

I started with a craving for fresh sweet corn and local tomatoes. Then I got in my usual kitchen frenzy and started adding spices and leftovers from the fridge (yeah, those grilled carrots and pattypan squash that were used in a sandwich and frittata are FINALLY all used up).

Here's what the first version of my dinner looked like.

It tasted delicious - I can't even describe how crisp and sweet the corn is right now. Combined with perfectly ripened Minnesota-grown tomatoes it was a great combination. It's also got the veggies, black beans, onion, lime juice, cumin, and chili powder. But it felt like eating salsa with a fork and it just seemed kind of...incomplete.

So I cooked up some Inca Red Quinoa and added diced avocado and it made all the difference in the world. The final result was so fabulous I couldn't believe I made it myself. It had all the flavors I love - spicy from the serrano, sweet from the corn, tangy from the lime, earthy from the beans, and a nice crunchy pop from the quinoa. The only problem is that it doesn't look all that pretty in the bowl so I figured a name like Mexi-Hippie Chow was suitable.

Mexi-Hippie Chow
1 ear fresh sweet corn, kernels cut from ear
1 large fresh tomato, diced
1 can black beans, rinsed
1/4 red onion, diced finely
leftover grilled veggies
1 serrano chile (I left all the seeds in)
juice of 1 big lime
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper
tiny drizzle olive oil

Mix all the above ingredients together and serve over cooked quinoa (use directions on package) and top with diced avocado. Enjoy guilt-free!

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