Quinoa Citrus Salad

In addition to the Enchiladas that I brought to the Cinco de Mayo parties, I also made a quinoa salad, inspired by one of my favorite blogs, Eat, Live, Run‘s Black Bean, Quinoa, Citrus salad.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to add grapefruit, which would have been delicious, but the lime juice made up for the citrus portion.  I added basil to the recipe because I am never able to avoid adding basil when I have it in my fridge!

Quinoa Citrus Salad
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water (or chicken or vegetable broth)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup corn
1/2 small onion
1 red pepper
1 bunch basil, minced
1 bunch cilantro, minced
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. salt


  1. Bring quinoa and water to a boil.  Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes, or until fluffy.  Set aside to cool once cooked
  2. Place black beans, corn, onion, pepper, basil and cilantro in a bowl.  Toss until well combined.
  3. Add lime juice, cumin, olive oil and salt.  Mix well with quinoa.
  4. Chill in fridge (I like it cold, but you can eat it warm if you want!)
This turned out as a delicious appetizer that you could dip with veggies, chips, or eat plain.  It made enough for me to bring to two Cinco de Mayo parties, and also a little tupperware amount for me at home!  I just love all the colors and textures that the salad has.

toss it all

add lime juice, cumin, olive oil and salt

so pretty and delicious!

My roommate was quite domestic that day, I am so proud of her! 🙂  She made a delicious taco dip and  also made her first attempt at sangria and in my opinion, was quite successful.  She used Stella Rosa, a bottle of Cabernet, strawberries, oranges and basil…  Take a look!



Enchiladas de Guate

For Cinco de Mayo, I was searching for a great appetizer recipe to bring to the parties and came across bite size chip appetizer which reminded me of the typical tostada/enchilada appetizers I ate when I was in Guatemala.  I have wanted to make them since I got back from my trip, but completely forgot about them!

El Jicaro, one of the villages we worked at in Guatemala

The typical food in Guatemala is delicious.  There is also so many different types of typical food, so we were trying new things all the time!  We ate tortillas (so much better than Mexican ones), frijoles, tamals de chipilin (my favorite), chiles relleno, chuchitos, chicharrones, tostadas, and these enchiladas!  In Guatemala, enchiladas are not what Americans think of as enchiladas.  There, enchiladas are fried tortillas topped with lettuce, pickled vegetables and beets and cheese… which I have made here.  This was the very first thing I ate when I arrived in Guatemala.  We were at Jose’s place and got to meet everyone 🙂

Typical Food Appetizer plate, from one of the restaurants

I was very nostalgic when making this dish because my Guatemala trip was probably one of the best trips I have ever taken.  I met the most amazing, welcoming, and self-less people and got to travel in a beautiful country.  I miss all my friends there so much!  I know my dish can’t quite compare to my friends’ versions… but it was a decent attempt 🙂  Typically, the enchiladas have cotija cheese, but I used goat cheese instead!

Enchiladas de Guatemala
1 bag tortilla round chips
4 beets, shredded
4 cups cabbage
1 cup carrots
1.25 cup rice vinegar
1 bag arugula
2.5 T brown sugar

and shredded!


  1. Cut, peel and shred beets (this was quite a workout!) Set aside.
  2. Boil a pot of water
  3. Combine cabbage and carrots in a bowl
  4. Pour the boiling water over the cabbage mixture, cover for 5 minutes, until veggies are soft, then drain
  5. Combine the cabbage mixture, beets and rice vinegar.
  6. Mix it all together and chill overnight in the fridge (it is such a pretty color!)
  7. I added a small bit of brown sugar the next morning to make it a little sweeter (optional)
Beets, Cabbage and Carrots

Pickled with Rice Vinegar

    Right before the party, assemble the dish by placing a chip with arugula, a spoonful of the pickled beets and top with goat cheese.  As you can see in the pictures, the pickled vegetables turn to a darker pink/red overnight.  They are so aesthetically pleasing… I couldn’t stop taking pictures of them.

    In Guatemala, they would serve these enchiladas on a platter along with tostadas, which are fried tortillas topped with black beans or guacamole.  In my attempt to be as Chapine as possible, I made a version with a spread of American black beans!


    Cucumber Hummus Bites

    One of my all time favorite foods (spread? side? topping?) whatever… I believe hummus deserves the title of a food.  It is good on anything and everything.

    Hummus originates from the Middle East and is a combination of pureed chickpeas, olive oil, tahini and lemon.  There are many varieties of hummus– tomato basil, garlic, pesto, roasted pepper, and the list can continue forever.  Although hummus may have more fat than some dips, the fats are mostly from healthy, unsaturated fats and the chickpeas provide a good base of fiber.  Also, hummus is virtually absent in sugar and sodium.

    I will admit I am a hummus snob, and I won’t buy my hummus anywhere except for Trader Joe’s.  The Classic Hummus is extremely ‘beany’ and nothing compares to it!  I love using hummus on my sandwiches as a healthy substitute for mayonnaise.  My favorite is the White Bean and Basil Hummus from Trader Joe’s.  It gives my sandwiches and wraps a great pesto kick!

    My favorite hummus, tzatziki wrap 

    I love dipping celery sticks, carrots, snap peas, crackers, pita… pretty much anything in hummus.  I made these quick appetizer bites for a small party.  They are super easy to make and very healthy!

    I sliced 2 cucumbers, topped them with hummus, and sprinkled goat cheese on top.  I failed to get a picture before we ate them, but you get the idea!

    Curried Quinoa

    I am so relieved and proud to say that I survived my first busy season of work and I just took the last of the four CPA exams!  I don’t know if I passed, but it sure feels good to have at least taken it.  Now, I hope I can spend more of my free time exploring new things to blog about.  I have so many ideas in my head, but haven’t had the time!

    I recently combined my love for quinoa with my craving for curry, and whipped up a curried quinoa.  It was so easy to make!

    Curried Quinoa

    • 1 cups quinoa
    • 2 cups water
    • 3 green onions, chopped
    • 1 T curry powder
    • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 2 cups spinach
    • 3/4 cup peas, cooked
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    I actually added peas!  Most of my friends know, I don’t even like peas… I can’t tell you the last time I ate them.  My Mom is going to be so proud.  When I was younger, we always read the book “Eat Your Peas”.  I was always picking them out.  However, I decided it was time to give them another shot.

    Cook quinoa with water, according to directions.  Add curry powder, onions, cayenne pepper, peas and spinach.  Stir until the spinach wilts.  Add salt and pepper to taste, and that’s it!

    Curry Powder

    Add Veggies

    Simple and delicious!