Quinoa, frequently described as a grain, is actually the seed to a leafy plant distantly related to spinach. High in protein and a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, it packs a healthy punch in addition to providing a pleasing delicate, nutty flavor. The seed works well in side salads, main dishes and I have even seen recipes for breakfast! Easily substitutable for most any other grain, this seed has earned a high place in my kitchen.
Quinoa Salad with Black Beans is a versatile recipe that works well with whatever vegetables you may have on hand, making it an easy last minute choice and transitioning seasons. With my treasure chest full of market vegies, the salad tossed together quickly, and easily provided a tasty and healthy side! (FYI... left overs make a perfect next day lunch!)
Quinoa Black Bean Salad
½ cup dry quinoa
juice of one lime
2 Tbs olive oil
Generous ¼ tsp cumin
Generous ¼ tsp ground coriander
¼ cup chopped cilantro
⅓ cup chopped onion (red, sweet, scallion - or any mixture!)
½ - ¾ can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 poblano pepper, roasted and chopped (may use any other pepper)
½ cucumber, diced
1 tsp minced jalapeño, (more if desired)
salt and pepepr to taste
Rinse quinoa well and cook according to package directions (probably 1 cup of water for the ½ cup of dry quinoa, but check your package to be certain). Cool.
Combine lime juice, olive oil, cumin, and coriander and whisk to combine. Set aside.
In a large bowl mix together the beans, onion, poblano, jalapeño, cucumber, cilantro and tomatoes. Stir gently to mix and add desired amount of cooked and cooled quinoa (my husband likes a larger quinoa/vegie ratio, I prefer the reverse). Gently stir in the quinoa and add the dressing ingredients, stirring again to combine. Season with salt and pepper, chill or serve.
Many vegetable combinations work well in the salad, but you might also consider corn, red peppers, eggplant, or any other vegie that is pleasing to you!
This post has been submitted to the Kahakai Kitchen Souper Sunday!!