Our local farmers’ market just ended for the year. Every Sunday Simi would hop on her scooter and we would walk on down to the park where our amazing farmers and vendors, our local restaurateurs, and our master gardeners all gathered to share a Sunday afternoon with us… There were childrens’ tables with crafts and healthy snacks, there were chefs doing demos based on cuisine from local eateries, and most importantly there were some AMAZING food trucks we salivated over while waiting in line for lunch.
One of our favorites was a two person run food stall that served a mexican style black bean, bell pepper, avocado, scallion, cilantro, and toasted pumpkin seed quinoa bowl. It was always served warm, with a creamy sauce that had qualities that engendered an intense desire for more. Last Sunday, when we found ourselves craving this hearty bowl of goodness I tried to recreate it at home. After a few attempts, we nailed it.
While the quinoa, black beans, roasted corn, and lush avocado warm our insides it’s the pumpkin seed sauce that is really the star of this dish. It is extremely rich in flavor and texture…. warm, creamy, and delicious … all the while boasting a range of health benefits. Devouring this bowl of goodness is a luxurious self-indulgence and I guarantee that you will only feel better after you have finished!
Yield: 3 to 4 entree sized servings
For the Bowl:
4 cups quinoa, cooked
2 cups black beans, cooked (I do it in a pressure cooker, quick and easy)
1 poblano pepper, diced
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
2 cups roasted fresh corn
1/2 large red onion (or green onions), diced
2 large avocados, pitted and diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup pumpkin seeds (roasted, raw, or sprouted)
1 cup shredded mexican cheese and/or sour cream to garnish (optional, and entirely unnecessary)
For the Sauce:
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 lime, juiced
1 bunch cilantro, washed and roughly chopped
1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, salt to taste
Mix all the ingredients for the bowl together in a large mixing bowl.
In a high speed blender, blend together the pumpkin seeds, spices, lime and cilantro with 1.5 cups water. If needed, add additional water until desired consistency is reached. You want the dressing to be smooth and creamy with some thickness so it can coat the quinoa and veggies beautifully. Some pumpkin seeds come salted so after you blend everything together, add salt to taste and blend for 10 more seconds to incorporate. (Remember the salt in the sauce should be enough to carry the entire dish, but be careful not to over-salt either!)
Pour dressing into the bowl and toss to coat evenly. Serve immediately.