When I was an angst-ridden high school student, I desperately wanted three things:

1) to have gorgeous, clear skin

2) to be feel happy and balanced

3) to not be awkward

 

 Meanwhile, I was filling up my tank with French fries at lunch and not much else. It took me years to discover that eating nourishing, living foods helped me achieve the first two (but not with the third. Unfortunately, there is no magical food that cures awkwardness.)

 

 

As I started educating myself about chemicals in both food and cosmetics, I began to have a real desire to clean-up what I was putting in and on my body. I held the belief for awhile that I was just going to have to eat food that didn’t taste as good. Since I was eating food I didn’t love, it was easy to go back to eating junk within a few weeks.

 

I’m a firm believer that everyone should love and look forward to their meals. I started experimenting and combining foods with different flavors, textures and colors and came up with some great recipes my whole family is excited to eat. 

 

This past year we’ve been eating an increasingly cleaner diet. When the holidays came around this year, I was nervous my “weird” looking food would get passed by at family gatherings. I debated just caving in and going the meat and potatoes route to make everyone happy.

 

I made my weird food anyway. I didn’t promote it as vegan or organic. I just stuck it on the buffet table and let people try it. It was such a huge hit and I got so many recipe requests that it’s now my go-to recipe for any potluck gathering.

 

We also regularly eat this for lunch in my house, sometimes on top of a green salad. It’s filling without being heavy and gives me tons of energy. And delicious. Or I would be eating a cheeseburger instead.

 

Black Bean Quinoa Salad


3 cups quinoa (cooked volume)
2 cups black beans, rinsed
1.5-2 cups organic corn*
1 medium organic sweet bell pepper, any color, finely chopped
1/3 of a large red onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp cold pressed olive oil
Juice from half a lemon
Fine sea salt, to taste
Chopped cilantro, optional

Chopped avocado, optional

Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Serve warm or cold.

* Roast the corn before for better flavor dimension.