Friday, April 12, 2013

Fire Escape Tomatoes

I would estimate that 50% of my meals aren't so much recipes as they are a bunch of foods thrown together that happen to taste good.

Dinner tonight was one of those meals. I didn't have a whole lot to work with, so I planned to go with a default option: a grain bowl. Once that was established, I decided on quinoa because I had a lot of it and it cooks quickly (remember, it is really hot right now!). Once I had that going, I took inventory- spinach, black beans, tomatoes, avocado and onions. The black beans inspired a Mexican flair and so I Googled "Mexican vinaigrette." I saw a recipe for a cumin vinaigrette with red wine vinegar and when I found some in the closet I knew I was set!


Mexican Quinoa Bowl

serves 4


  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • avocado for topping (1/2 avocado per serving)


  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used sunflower)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1.5 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • dash of pepper


  1. Add quinoa and water to a large saucepan and bring to a boil on high; reduce heat to low and cover
  2. In a saute pan, add onion and olive oil; cook for 5 minutes over medium high
  3. Add garlic to saute pan and cook for another 3 minutes
  4. Add frozen corn to the onion mixture; cook for 2 minutes
  5. Add beans, tomatoes and spinach; heat through then remove from heat
  6. Add all of the vinaigrette ingredients to a jar; secure the lid and then shake until mixed
  7. When the quinoa has absorbed all of the water (about 15 minutes), mix in the vinaigrette
  8. Add quinoa to the vegetable mixture and stir in
  9. Serve topped with avocado

This ended up getting a little hotter than I would have liked, but I really enjoyed it. Brian's not a big fan of grain bowls, and he came back from a run right before dinner so he wasn't really hungry and didn't finish his whole bowl. I, on the other hand, went back for seconds!

Next up: dessert

It was the same recipe as yesterday, but instead of peanut butter, I added cocoa powder to the banana shake. Mmm.

After dinner we sat around with all the windows open and fans going, it was much cooler outside than the night before and we were able to enjoy a bit of a breeze.

This morning I could tell it had rained, but I didn't really think it would rain on my run. It started raining pretty hard about a mile into a six mile run. Then I saw a huge flash of white. We were NOT supposed to have thunder and lightening this morning! I turned around and headed home. I normally enjoy running in the rain, but I don't think running in a thunderstorm is really ever a good idea.

Its not too cold and the rain means I get to wear my Hunter rain boots to work, so I'm okay with it for now.

I am sure it makes my fire escape tomatoes pretty happy!


I just planted them yesterday. They might normally be called 'patio tomatoes,' however, we do not have a patio so they are grown on our fire escape. Last year we had a good amount of tomatoes,but they came in really late and froze. The year I'm planting them in larger pots a bit sooner so hopefully they'll produce tomatoes sooner.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds so good! One of my absolute favorite ways to eat quinoa is in Mexican dishes :).