Quinoa is an interesting food. It’s not a grain, but actually a seed of a plant that is most closely related to the spinach, beet and chard family. If you are new to cooking with quinoa, this Quinoa and Black Bean salad is a perfect recipe to start with, especially if you are trying to avoid grains.
Quinoa is a good source of protein. It may not show high numbers in the protein category, but it contains an almost perfect balance of all eight essential amino acids which allows you to absorb all the benefits of the protein. Because of this, some call it a complete protein. I do not eat quinoa that often, especially when I am in a low-activity cycle, but when I do I try to make it into a tasty side dish rather than my main meal due to it’s carbs. Portion control is key…but with this dish portion control is easier said than done.
Quinoa and Black Bean Salad
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water (used to cook the quinoa)
- 1/4 cup of organic extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 limes (juiced)
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp Himalayan sea salt (the pink stuff; it has less sodium)
- 1/2 tsp of ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 can of organic black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 5 green onions (finely chopped)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Add quinoa to your water and bring to a boil. Then cover and let simmer on medium-low for about 10-15 min. While your quinoa is cooking…whisk your oil, lime juice, cumin, salt, pepper and flakes in a small bowl. Set aside. Cut up your cilantro, green onions and tomatoes and add to a mixing bowl with your black beans. Once your quinoa is done, combine it, along with your oil/juice/seasoning mix to the black beans mix. Make sure to stir it evenly to ensure your salad is evenly “tossed”. Cover and place in the fridge for about 12 hours. It should be served cold, but can be served warm too.