Healthy black bean and quinoa salad

Truth be told there is no simple way to name tonight’s dinner. It’s a salad in that it’s a “food mixture tossed in a dressing”, but otherwise, it’s really just a mix of healthy ingredients. I’ll get to the recipe in a moment.

I haven’t been eating as well lately. Tired after long weeks of the internship, work and some school, I’m in one of those phases where all I want to do is cocoon myself in the pages of a book, or nest in my couch watching a movie. I need to kick my ass a bit, as I’ve been rather lazy. Next week, I’m joining the gym again, and will set a fixed schedule with the intention of establishing precise goals in order to maximize my efficiency. Not that reading or movies are bad, in fact, they’re great, but one needs to remain healthy and energetic to take full advantage of the time we get…

I’m reading two great books right now. Carolina got me Susan Sontag’s collection of essays “On photography“. The title is self explanatory. I’ve been thinking a lot about photography theory lately and this is certainly an apt read right now. When school is officially finished after Thursday, I’ll be getting back to taking more pictures. I have a bunch of great ideas. Time to make them real…
The other book I’m reading is Flannery O’connor‘s “The violent bear it away“. I’ve never read anything of hers, but had heard of her from a friend who, if I remember correctly, went to volunteer on her farm which is now run by some organization to support her memory. She writes beautifully and I’m currently completely enthralled in the book. I don’t want to get in the process of explaining it’s premise, there are sites where you can find that information, but I simply wanted to say that if you haven’t read any of her work yet, you should.

Anyways, on to the healthy dinner part of this post. My “salad” was made of black beans, quinoa, steamed asparagus, sauteed shallots and sun dried tomatoes, thinly cut carrots and capers. I served this mixture on a bed of sliced tomatoes and avocado and topped it off with some toasted sunflower seeds.

This meal is packed with good stuff:

Asparagus is a good source of Vit. A, Vit. C, Vit. E and Folacin.
Black beans offer Iron, a variety of amino acids, calcium, and fiber.
Quinoa is a health superhero, as it contains complete proteins, is high in Iron, Magnesium, Folacin, Niacin, Phosphorus, Riboflavin, Thiamin, and Zinc.
Carrots are absolutely loaded with Vit. A and are a good source of fiber as well.
Avocados are also a good source of a variety of the vitamins and minerals already mentioned. They are also loaded with healthy oils and are another surprisingly good source of fiber.
Tomatoes have Vit. A, Vit. C and Vit. E.
And finally Sunflower seeds are full of Vit B6, offer well above your needed daily intake of Vit. E, and are a good source of magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, riboflavin and zinc.

This mix is low in fat, cheap, and is a varied mix of simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates that will keep you properly energized for a good period of time. Your energy levels will remain even, and the food itself is rather easy to digest, so little of your physical energy will be wasted digesting it.

I finished it off with a vinaigrette of olive oil, red wine vinegar and a rustic mustard.

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