This recipe is a standard go-to when I'm craving something a little spicy, flavorful and full of texture. It's loaded with fresh crunchy vegetables that stay crispy in the fridge and made of things I usually have on hand. The recipe is quite large so I can make it for parties or share half and still have multiple servings. I scored the most beautiful avocados recently and they really turn this simple salad into a full meal, but it's also great with chicken and fish, especially when they are grilled. (I just make a bit more of the lime dressing to marinate chicken breasts before grilling or I use it as a glaze on fish.) It's even great scooped up on tortilla chips!
Quinoa and Black Bean Salad
1 c. quinoa
½ t. salt
Place quinoa in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Let soak for an hour. Using a small screen sieve, pour out the water and rinse the quinoa in running water for 30 seconds. Put quinoa into a med. saucepan and cover with water by ½ in. Bring the quinoa and water to the boil, add ½ tsp. salt, cover saucepan and cook for 10 min., or until quinoa is tender to the bite. When tender, remove from heat and let any extra water be absorbed. Let cool and refrigerate. (Quinoa is a grain from South America. We had it for breakfast, lunch and supper in Peru. It can be expensive if you buy it packaged in small portions but I buy mine at Winco in the bulk food area and it's very inexpensive. It's dry so it stores well in the pantry.)
juice from 2 limes, measuring ¼ c.
¼ - ½ t salt
¼ t garlic powder
1 heaping teaspoon cumin
¼ - ½ t chili powder (toss in a pinch of cayenne pepper to make it spicier)
1-2 TB Honey
¼ c. olive oil
Put all ingredients except the olive oil into a med. bowl. Mix well, until honey is dissolved and incorporated into the juice. Taste and adjust any seasonings. Add the oil and whisk the dressing until emulsified.
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed well
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
¼ c. fresh cilantro, minced
After quinoa has cooled add the above ingredients and stir to mix. Add the honey-lime dressing and mix thoroughly. Taste and adjust any seasonings.
Quinoa is a very versatile grain and takes on a variety of flavors very well. I have made this salad substituting red kidney beans for black beans and used a variety of fresh vegetables, what ever I had on hand. I have also used various dressings, each citrus based, but with different flavor profiles. It is fun to mix it up.
Yogi, instructor, seeker