Black beans cakes with quinoa and avocado salad

This past week, I’ve been organising. I’m going to be moving from my current house *into an as of yet undecided location* in about a month, so I’ve decided to get a head start on things and start sorting through what I wanted to keep and what I couldn’t be bothered to lug around with me.

Most people will think I’m a bit loopy – I mean, come on, I’ve got a month to do all of this. Where’s the rush?

However, while I completely understand the validity of such a comment, I can’t help it. I’m organised. So sue me.

First to go were the beauty products – you just can’t imagine how many out of date bottles I had in my room and bathroom! I threw away an entire bag of creams and pills and such I couldn’t use anymore and I’m pretty sure I’ve kept some things I’ll never use either.

Second came the papers – you really do accumulate so many useless pieces of paper as a teacher, it’s unbelievable! Those went straight to recycling.

Lastly came my favourite and most hated part of the spring cleaning – getting rid of my old Olive magazines. Because, seriously, those things weigh a ton and I just can’t bring them with me everywhere.

It sucked throwing them away, but it did come to some good – before tossing them, I went through each and every single one to find recipes I’d earmarked and never gotten around to making, cut them all out and put them in a recipe folder. I have now got a BILLION recipes to try.

The first one to catch my eye was from Olive’s latest edition – black bean cakes with quinoa and avocado salad. I love trying new vegetarian options and black beans are one of my favourite beans as well!

They were amazingly easy to make, zingy and tasty, and the quinoa salad had me at the first bite. Can’t say my picture is very flattering, but believe me, you won’t regret this simple, summery vegetarian dinner option!

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Serves 2

Ingredients:

FOR BLACK BEANS CAKES:

400g tin black beans, drained and rinsed

5 spring onion, chopped

1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

Small bunch of coriander, stalks chopped and leaves set aside

5 tbsp breadcrumbs

1 egg, beaten

Coconut oil

FOR SALAD:

1 pack ready cooked quinoa

1/2 avocado, diced

1/4 cucumber, diced

1/2 red pepper, diced

1/2 red onion, diced

1 lemon, 1/2 juiced, 1/2 cut into wedges

1. Heat some coconut oil in a pan over medium heat. Cook spring onion and red chilli until softened, then add cumin and chopped coriander stalks. Cook for a further minute.

2. Put the red chilli and spring onion mix into a bowl with the rinsed black beans, salt and pepper. Using a hand blender, pulse together. Alternatively, you can use a blender. Stir in 5 tbsp of breadcrumbs. Form into 6 small cakes and chill for 20 minutes in the refrigerator.

3. Mix the quinoa with the diced vegetables, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and set aside to serve.

4. To cook the black bean cakes, heat some coconut oil in a pan. Dip the cakes in the beaten egg then roll in some more breadcrumbs. Fry until golden and heated through.

5. Serve with the quinoa and avocado salad, some coriander leaves and lemon wedges.

6. Enjoy!

PS. The quinoa salad is also delicious on its own!

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Salad season!

I’ve started to realise that I use the word favourite a lot.

“That’s my favourite.”

“This is my favourite.”

“Wait, no, actually, THAT’s definitely my favourite!”

Right, so I get a little overexcited about things.

 – Sorry, not sorry, that’s just me –

And right now, I am overexcited about SALADS.

Yup, salads.

I very rarely eat salads during autumn or winter – I’d rather have something hot to warm me up – but during spring and summer, I could have nothing but.

Delicious salads, every day.

Quinoa, roasted sweet potato and onion salad

Not only are they delicious, but it’s so much fun inventing new salad recipes with whatever I’ve got in the fridge or the pantry.

Latest creation: freshly picked iceberg lettuce from the allotment, a few baby plums, crumbled feta cheese, crispy pancetta cubes and homemade croutons made from homemade pumpkin seed and sunflower seed bread.

YUM.

Baby plum tomato, feta, crispy lardons and crouton salad

So, please, pretty please, if you guys have good salad recipes/ideas lying around, comment and tell me. I am dying to try new things and am going to exhaust my own salad recipes pretty quickly at this rate!