Out of all symptoms of menopause, the “menopausal muffin” is probably one of the most visible ones. The full causes of menopausal weight gain are actually quite complex, but the process is not irreversible, so despair not: this hearty quinoa and black beans dish will help.

Basic weight loss can be summed up by “eat less calories than you burn,” but this actually requires making some smart choices for dinnertime. The reason I loved this recipe is that it has a LOT of fiber (enough to keep me fully satisfied for hours), and two different low fat sources of vegetable protein, plus some veggies sprinkled in to ensure vitamin diversity.


  • quinoa black beans1 teaspoon vegetable oil (best if olive oil)
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ¾ cup of quinoa
  • 1 ½ cup vegetable or beef stock (low sodium, if possible)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 cup cooked corn kernels
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • A handful of chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1.  Heat the oil over medium low heat in a thick saucepan, stir in garlic and onions and cook until lightly browned (should be about 10 minutes).
  2. Add the quinoa and stock, plus the seasonings (cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper) and let it boil. As soon as it boils, cover it and reduce heat, then let it simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Stir the corn into the mixture and let it heat for about 4 or 5 minutes, then add the beans and cilantro right before serving.


Inspired by a Cuban classic, one of the best things about this recipe is that, while it works great as a side at a potluck dinner, it includes enough protein to work as a main dish – with a side of steamed veggies. You can also play around with the quinoa and bean ratio to suit your taste or even the day’s mood.

I hope you enjoy it, and don’t forget to share!


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