“The tale of the class officer campaign” served with quinoa salad with black beans and mango

I have finally come to realize that I just don’t have any time any more. Quite funny given the fact that two months ago, I was complaining about how ready I was for this new phase to begin. In a span of a month, I have had my world turned upside down and find myself with less time to write my customary three blog posts a week, be on facebook, or even read a book of fiction. So now I am down to one post a week or every other week. I have taken two mid terms already and am barreling towards finals–at the end of this month! I know, bananas! But, I am learning a lot and stretching my wings. Pushing myself to try new things.

One such thing was running for one of the two of the MPH co officer positions for my entire MPH class.  I had never experienced anything like this campaign process before. Number one, we had to run in pairs, so I teamed up with a kindred spirit by the name of Cara Elio. Number two, we couldn’t outright campaign–you had to talk to classmates or send them emails. No posting to facebook or posting posters all through the school. Cara had the brilliant idea to do a campaign video. And I being the musical crazy lady (there is always a song running around in my head) that I am, came up with the idea to use M.I.A’s “Swagga like us” hook. So the “Swag campaign” was executed.   We began to secretly send the video to classmates and ask them to spread the word. We networked and shared our platform. Why, yes, we even had to have a platform.  After about two weeks of campaigning (it felt like half our short-term), we found out the results of our election. Cara and I won!!! So just call me co-pres…lol

The reason why I say it was stepping outside of my box is because I definitely do silly things, but I usually don’t allow myself to be caught on film doing them…lol   So, if you are curious about the video, you can click here to watch it. Let me know how you feel about it by leaving a comment at the end of this post.  And last thing, I really don’t dance like that…lol

Now on to the Quinoa Salad. Even though I find myself with less time due to the extremely fast pace of this program, I am determined to eat healthy(at least most of the time…lol). This week for lunch, I wanted a vegan meal that had enough protein content to keep me energized, but yet light enough to keep me focused. As always, food tends to pop in my head. I was thinking about black beans and mango for some reason. So I looked through my trusty Veganomicon cookbook and discovered a recipe for Quinoa Salad with black beans and mango.

I thought, “wow, that sounds interesting and tasty”. The quinoa and the black beans would give me tons of protein and fiber, respectively. Plus the mango would add a refreshing and fruity spin on the meal. So as always, I assembled the ingredients and prepared. It took me slightly longer to prepare this dish because I had to hydrate and cook dried black beans (I didn’t have any cans) and then I cooked the quinoa because I didn’t have any prepared.  So I did both of these things the night before and prepared this dish on Sunday.

Here’s the result:

Now for a close up:

Did I mention I am excited to take this to lunch this week??? It tasted so good when I sampled it. According to the authors of Veganomicon, it will taste even better once the flavors have had a chance to meld together. Secretly, I am squealing inside like a little kid.
Here’s the recipe if you are interested in trying it. I changed nothing this time.


1 mango, peeled and diced small

1 red pepper, seeded and diced as small as you can get it

1 cup chopped scallions

1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons grape seed oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled

1 1/2 cups black beans, drained and rinsed (a 15-ounce can)

A few leaves of lettuce for plating

Combine the mango, red pepper, scallions, and cilantro in a mixing bowl. Add the red wine vinegar, grape seed oil, and salt and stir to combine. Add the quinoa and stir until everything is well incorporated. Fold in the black beans.

You can serve immediately or let it sit for a bit for the flavors to meld. To serve, place a few leaves of lettuce on a plate and scoop some salad onto it. It tastes good chilled and even better at room temperature.

This entry was posted in being present, dedication, do it yourself, empowerment, journey and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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