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4 1/2 cups cooked red quinoa (1 1/2 cups uncooked; can use a blend of red and white quinoa)
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 hearts of romaine
2 tsp olive oil
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups corn kernels
1 shallot, thinly sliced
Juice of 2 limes

1. Preheat a grill pan over high heat.
2. Cut the romaine hearts in half lengthwise, keeping the end intact to hold the leaves together. Brush with 1 tsp of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
3. Place the romaine on the grill and cook until nice grill marks are achieved. Remove and cool.
4. Roughly chop the romaine and add to the cooked quinoa.
5. Add the remaining ingredients and the remaining 1 tsp of olive oil and stir to combine (do not over stir because it will make the quinoa gummy).

Future considerations: cumin, fresh herb?

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Avocado is my favorite fruit (you heard me) and guacamole is The Ultimate Dip. It’s ridiculously easy to prepare and can be tailored in many ways to make a unique dip that suites your taste. For me, minimalism reigns.

Mash up Hass avocados with fresh chopped cilantro, fresh lime juice and salt. That’s it.

Smear the guacamole on top of the crostini and top with shrimp (these were tossed with oil, S & P, roasted for 5 minutes in a 400-degree Fahrenheit oven, and then sliced in half horizontally).

The hummus was spicy, as requested, so I guess that gave the crostini spread just a hint of masculinity.

In a food processor, puree a can of chick peas (rinsed well), tahini (sesame paste), chipotles in adobo (a little goes a long way), lime juice (fresh, thank you), fresh cilantro (why am I still using parenthesis?), garlic, and salt.

And there you have it! Is it hummus, really? Is it basically just a dip? Who the hell cares–it’s damn tasty.