Last week I had the privilege of attending Maria Menounos‘ cookbook launch party in Los Angeles. Her new book, “The EveryGirl’s Guide to Cooking” has been out only a few weeks and it is already on the New York Times Best Seller’s List. The book is loaded with healthy and delicious recipes with a focus on Greek cuisine.
The party was a mix of Maria’s friends, family, acquaintances and the special people who made it all happen. The evening couldn’t of been a more perfect night – warm, in a lovely outside setting that focused on Maria’s favorite recipes in her new book.
At the bar they were serving some of The EveryGirl’s Guide to Cooking cocktails, like the Tropical Paradise Smoothie, with a shot of vodka in it, of course.
My favorite recipe that I tasted that evening was the Late Summer Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Charred Corn, and Honey-Lime Vinaigrette. The flavors were lightly sweet and spicy with great texture from all of the veggies. It was so good, I decided to make it myself.
1 cup quinoa
3 ears corn, kernels cut off
3 scallions, white and green parts only, thinly sliced
1 cup drained canned black beans
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 mango, chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from 1 lime
2 teaspoons honey
1 avocado, diced
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1. Cook the quinoa according to the package directions.
2. While the quinoa is cooking, get the other ingredients prepared.
3. In a saute pan on medium high heat, add the corn and cook for 4 minutes or until they are lightly charred.
4. Next, add the scallions, black beans, mango and cumin and stir to combine. Continue to cook over medium heat.
5. Then, add the cooked quinoa and stir to combine.
6. Drizzle in the olive oil, lime juice and honey and add a couple dashes of cayenne and some salt. Stir again to combine all the flavors.
7. Finally, fold in the tomatoes, avocado and freshly chopped cilantro. Serve family style and you will definitely enjoy!
I can’t say enough about how kind and generous Maria was to all her guests. Thanks for a fun evening, it was great to meet you.