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Recipe exceeding expectations

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Today’s supper was a “Bean and Grain Salad”, courtesy of Canadian Living magazine.

You can find the recipe on their website.

With a name like that, I wasn’t expecting too much (other than that it ought to be good for me). I was surprised it was so delicious.

I think the avocado is the secret ingredient. Recipe says it’s optional, but I think that, combined with the barrel-aged feta and really good Spanish olive oil I used, gave it this appealing, creamy deliciousness that seemed almost decadent.

Other changes I made:

  • I don’t know what wheat berries are, so I used quinoa. Grainy, good for you, and cooks in only 12 minutes.
  • Reduced the peppers from 2 and one-half, as my husband is not a fan.
  • Omitted the green onion.
  • Omitted the kale. Kale can be delicious cooked, but raw? Baby kale is OK, but “adult” kale is pretty bitter til cooked.
  • Instead of minced hot pepper in the dressing, used dried ancho, which is less spicy. (I don’t mind spicy, but I am a bit lazy, and that was less work.)

So my version be kind of like this:

1/2 cup (125 mL) quinoa
1 can (14 oz/540 mL) no-salt black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup (250 mL) halved cherry or grape tomatoes
1/2 red or yellow pepper, diced
1 avocado, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup (125 mL) crumbled Canadian Feta cheese (consider barrel aged)
3 cups (750 mL) torn romaine lettuce

Coriander Chili Dressing:
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh coriander
2 tbsp (25 mL) each extra-virgin olive oil and canola oil
2 tbsp (25 mL) cider vinegar
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) ancho chili powder
Pinch each kosher salt and pepper

Bring 1 cup of salted water to boil. Add quinoa; cover and simmer over medium-low heat until tender, about 12 minutes.

Add black beans, tomatoes, red or yellow pepper, avocado, and Feta cheese.

Coriander Chili Dressing: In small bowl, whisk together coriander, olive oil, canola oil, vinegar, garlic, chili powder, salt and pepper; pour over salad, tossing to coat. Divide lettuce among plates; top with wheat berry mixture.

Makes about 3 servings.

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