As a athlete I am acutely aware of how important it is to fuel for triathlon training with healthy food every day.  If I have pizza on Saturday night and go for a long run Sunday morning I suffer!!  I’ve learned to have dinners like that only once in a blue moon, but even then, it’s too often and I’m usually cursing my lack of will power as I plod uncomfortably along the pavement!!  But, here’s a whole food plant based meal (that’s all you will find here on this blog!) that will catapult anyone down the road.  It’s  loaded with healthy whole grain quinoa,  protein and carbohydrates from black beans and vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates from the fruit and veggies in the salsa.  What it doesn’t have is any added oil, sugar, and very little salt.  So save yourself, eat this, and fly down the road on your next training session!


I made this dish up, so amounts are approximate.  You should adjust amounts to your preference, because, you know “a recipe is just a guideline”!

Make salsa first so flavors can  meld together and chill at least 30 min.  I made  it the day before.

To make salsa, combine all ingredients in a bowl:

1 mango diced, 6 scallions thinly sliced (sub any type of onion you have here), 1 jalepeno  minced with seeds and ribs removed (wear gloves or wash hands immediately and don’t rub your eye!), hand full of cilantro chopped, 1/2 C red bell pepper diced, juice of one lime, salt to taste.

Quinoa:  make desired amount according to package directions.  I always make extra for other uses in the following week

Black beans:

1 can low or no salt black beans, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon (T) whole cumin seeds

1/2 onion diced small

1 clove garlic minced

salt and ground red pepper to taste

water as desired

1/4 avocado diced (optional)


1.  Toast  cumin seeds in dry skillet over med-low heat 2-3 minutes or until fragrant, stirring very frequently (don’t walk away from this, they can burn fast).  Grind in coffee or spice grinder until powder.  Set aside.  Note: You can also toast pre-ground cumin in a skillet, but the whole seed is much better.

2.  in a sauce pot, saute  onion  in 1-2 T of water over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until soft, adding more water as needed to keep it from sticking to pan. (this is how I saute all veggies without using oil).  Add  garlic and saute another minute.

3.  Add  beans, ground cumin, ground red pepper and salt

4.  Add desired amount of water depending on how liquid-y you like your beans.  I added about 1/4-1/2 C.  Bring to simmer, taste and adjust seasoning as desired.  Simmer about 5 minutes.  Note: You can always mash some of the beans if you want them in a thick sauce.

Put it all together:  Build a mound of desired amounts of quinoa, black beans,  salsa, top with avocado is using.