Quinoa Black Bean Salad

25 Oct

Quinoa is a magical food for vegetarians.  This mock grain, which is really a seed related to leafy green vegetables, is one of the few vegetables with complete protein.  As a vegetarian it is important to get complete proteins – normally found only in animal products.  This is accomplished by pairing proteins with complementary amino acids to achieve the essential 9. (Beans and corn or rice, peas and pasta, and peanut butter with whole wheat bread are all examples of good pairs.)

This protein packed salad makes an excellent main dish but can also nicely complement enchiladas, chile rellenos, or anything heavy with cheese. Adding fresh corn is not only delicious, it is an excellent protein complement to the beans.  This meal is quick, easy, and delicious and is a frequent repeat in my meal rotation.





1 cup quinoa

1 20 oz can black beans (16 oz is fine as well – I just love beans)

2 green onions, thinly sliced

small bunch cilantro, chopped roughly

container fresh salsa (I, of course, use hot!)

jalapeño (optional), diced

2 tsp cumin



To cook perfectly, fluffy quinoa, I actually use more water than needed, and then drain the quinoa once it is cooked.

Making this nutritious "grain" is super easy.

Start by rinsing the quinoa in a strainer, to remove a slightly bitter taste, while boiling 3 cups water with salt.  Add the quinoa to the pot, and return to boil.  Turn heat down to low and cover, cooking for about 15 minutes until the quinoa becomes slightly translucent and a small thread appears.   Strain and then return to the pot.  Cover the pot with a dishcloth and lid and let it sit for about 10 minutes.  Transfer to a large serving bowl.

Drain and rinse canned beans.  Add to the quinoa.  Stir in about half of the salsa (or more to taste) and the cumin. Add the onions, cilantro, and jalapeño.  Salt to taste and enjoy! (If corn is fresh in season, add a cup of cooked corn kernels.)

Yum! I can't wait to eat it...


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