Monday, April 22, 2013

Fava Bean, Radish, and Quinoa Salad

Let's be honest. I love sharing chocolatey, sugary, fruity, yeasty, delightful treats here. If I could, that's all I would live on. But that's not real life.

I like to talk about running and pilates and cycling, but that's all a recent development for me (as in, since I got to graduate school three years ago). I have baked and eaten delicious goodies-- especially when I get a paper rejection or my grant doesn't get funded-- but I have managed to remain healthy and lose almost 45 pounds since I got here.

With my first half marathon of the year coming up on Saturday, I figured it'd be good to talk whole grains.

Contrary to popular belief, we runners don't always sit down to a big bowl of pasta the night before a race. At least, that's not what Judy, my running clinic coach, advised our DetermiNation team to do last year. Your body simply cannot store that much glycogen that fast. So, you have to up the whole grains just a little bit every day before the race, so that your body can stock up slowly.

Lucky for me, my mother surprised me after all my travelling with Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty, which is full of fast, fresh, delicious whole-grain salads. This weekend, I made up a big ol' batch of this fava bean and quinoa salad to bring for lunch at work this week.

It's a great one-two punch of protein from the legumes and quinoa, spice from the radish, and complex carbs (again, quinoa-- gotta love it!).

This ends our real talk... we'll be back to regularly scheduled sugary programming shortly. Promise.

Fava Bean, Radish, and Quinoa Salad

Adapted from Plenty

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 14oz can fava beans
2 medium lemons
1 medium avocado, cubed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch radishes, roughly chopped
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

In a medium saucepan, cook quinoa with 1 1/2 cups water; bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover, and cook until water is completely absorbed. Allow quinoa to sit, covered, for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix lemon juice, spices, oil, and garlic. Toss radishes, avocado, and fava beans in dressing, then fold in quinoa. Serve warm or chilled over lettuce. Salad will keep up to a week in the fridge (the lemon keeps the avocado from browning-- magic!)

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