Some people spring clean their homes.  Others their closets.  I like to spring clean my diet.  As we move into the warmer months, I can sense that my body is ready to transition from hearty. warming winter foods to lighter, cooling summer foods.

This winter, I’ve been eating a lot of brown rice.  I love it, can’t get enough of it.  But it’s heavier — so for the summer, I prefer quinoa (full of protein!) and millet (very cooling!).  In the winter I eat more meat, and in the summer more tempeh, tofu, and beans.

This weekend I concocted a meal that was still hearty and filling, but also lighter than my typical winter fare:  cumin-scented black beans and cilantro-lime quinoa.  It’s super simple to make and perfect with a side salad or sauted greens.


1 can black beans (preferably organic, vegetarian)
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 c water

Empty can of beans into strainer and rinse well.  In a saucepan, heat water and cumin and add beans.  Cook on low for 5-10 minutes or until beans are soft.


1 c quinoa
1/2 c vegetable broth
1 c water
Juice and zest of 1 1/2 limes
3/4 c cilantro, chopped finely
1/8 tsp granulated garlic
salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, bring vegetable broth and water to boil.  In a fine strainer, rinse quinoa well under cool water.  Add to water and simmer for 20 minutes. If there’s extra water, strain well. Stir in the juice + zest, cilantro, and granulated garlic and add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve beans on top of quinoa, garnished with cilantro.