This guest post comes from one of my clients, Harper Kubicek. And even though I now know that she reads Shape Magazine, I still think she is awesome. 😉 Truth be told, I have a subscription to Hers:Muscle and Fitness. We all have our weaknesses. 😉
I know Emily will probably shake her head when she finds out that I have a Shape Magazine subscription and that I’m submitting my “Good Eats” entry inspired by a recipe from the most recent issue. Truth is, I fell victim to one of those door-to-door traveling salesman and bought a couple magazine subscriptions from him almost a year ago. I’ve since regretted my decision to purchase those subscriptions and vow never to answer the door to someone I don’t recognize! But I digress…
The magazine does have some creative, healthy meals inside, and last night, I tried out one that seems so appropriate for the unusual summer-like temperatures we’ve been seeing in Baltimore lately. This meal is light yet flavorful, and I knew wanted to share it! My favorite part is the mint yogurt dressing. I bought the mint at Safeway last night, but I can’t wait to try this recipe again when I can use fresh mint from the back patio. 🙂 Enjoy!
Mediterranean Lettuce Cups with Mint Yogurt Dressing
Adapted from Shape Magazine
¾ cup dry quinoa
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped and divided into 2 equal portions
1 can (15 oz.) low-sodium pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
½teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
Juice of ¼ lemon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
½ cucumber, peeled and diced into ¼-inch pieces
6 ounces (about 1 cup) cherry tomatoes, halved
1 head Bibb lettuce (8 large leaves)
1 avocado, pitted and sliced lengthwise into thin strips
1. Cook quinoa per directions on package. (For me, I used 1.5 cups water and simmered for 20 minutes).
2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and add ½ red onion, while saving the other ½ for later. Saute for 4 minutes. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper. Add pinto beans, vinegar, and ½ tsp. black pepper; combine and bring to a simmer. Stir in quinoa and remove from heat.
3. In a small bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, and mint; set aside.
4. In another bowl, combine ½ red onion, cucumber, and tomatoes. Add 2 tablespoons yogurt dressing, ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of black pepper and stir to combine; set aside.
5. Put 2 lettuce leaves on each of the four plates. Spoon ¼ cup quinoa mixture into each. Divide cucumber mixture evenly over leaves and top with avocado slices. Serve with extra dressing on the side.