Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Recipe: Quinoa and Black Beans

Here's a nice light salad packed with protein and perfect for the dog days of summer. This is delicious warm or chilled.

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad
Serves 6
1 Cup quinoa
1 1/2 Cups cold water
1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Cup diced celery (about one rib)
1 carrot, diced
1 Cup fresh green beans, steamed (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green pepper, sliced
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
3 or 4 scallions, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped or 1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
1/2 Cup olives, sliced (optional)
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
healthy pinch cayenne powder or chili powder

The ingredients

Dry quinoa is often mistaken for a grain but is actually a protein-rich seed from the spinach family

Soak quinoa for 30 minutes in cold water, rinsing very thoroughly several times in fresh water to get rid of the bitter husks. Discard water after each rinse, and finish by draining through a fine mesh strainer. While the quinoa is soaking, dice the vegetables.

After the final rinse, put quinoa in a two-quart saucepan with 1 1/2 cups cold water and a 1/2 tsp of salt. Bring to a boil, turn heat down to low, cover tightly and cook for 15 minutes. When time's up remove from heat and leave covered for five more minutes. Do not lift the lid for a peek!

While the quinoa is cooking, saute garlic in 2 Tbsp. olive oil until lightly browned

Add diced celery and carrots and saute until softened.

Add green pepper and lightly saute, then add cumin and coriander and continue cooking for another five minutes or so.

My father-in-law calls this "chef's privilege"

Fluff quinoa with a fork and transfer to a large bowl to cool. While the quinoa is cooling, whisk together the dressing ingredients.

Gently stir the veggie mixture into the quinoa. Add tomatoes, beans and dressing and stir to combine. Finally, stir in cilantro and scallions.



Jennifer said...

Is this what you made Steve? Looks great and I have some quinoa to use up.

Veggie Option said...

Yep, and I'm really pleased to say that he liked it. Yay!

liz said...

yum, this looks really good! i have never made quinoa and have been wanting to try making it but did not have a good recipe.

Veggie Option said...

The key to good quinoa is to soak it for half an hour or more and rinse in several washes of water. Otherwise it'll be bitter and nasty.

I think I'd ratchet down the salt in the dressing from 1 tsp to 1/2 tsp because I thought it tasted a bit salty, but Steve thought it was fine.

If you decide to try this one, let me know what you think.

WestEnder said...

Awesome. I'll bet some golden raisins added in there wouldn't hurt. Or dried cranberries, if that's yer thang.

Veggie Option said...

@WestEnder You'r right - sultanas or dried cranberries would be a wonderful addition. Throw in some toasted peacans too! Nom

Adam said...

My girlfriend loves to cook and we bought some quinoa because we had heard it was healthier, but we haven't made anything with it yet. I'm going to show her this recipe though, it seems right up our alley (even though we're not vegetarians!)

Anonymous said...

Hello, Veggie Option blogger. I am blogging here in Cincinnati and am going to add a link from my blog to yours. I would appreciate your adding me to your list of Cincinnati blogs. Mine is:

Thank you! -- Pama Mitchell

margaux.patel said...

My husband and I are on a huge Quinoa kick this summer - we usually cook it up with purple potatoes and similar spices but I've never thought of black beans...I can't wait to try it out.

Veggie Option said...

@margaux: I hope you like it - please stop back and let me know what you thought.

@Pama: You've been added!

margaux.patel said...

Wow! It is REALLY good. I especially like the dressing. I almost didn't add it because I usually like my veggies plain, but the dressing really adds a kick. My husband and I are really enjoying this. Thanks.

Veggie Option said...

I'm glad that you like it. It is one of my favorite summer salads.

Anonymous said...

I made this tonight surprised that I had everything on hand. Well...I ran out of olive oil and forgot the black beans and scallions (oops!) but after tasting it I thought it would be great with some guacamole. Wow it was awesome!! I'm not sure how I would serve it to others like this though! Next time I will add the beans because they no doubt would be perfect. Thanks for a great recipe!!

Veggie Option said...

Glad you liked it. One way to serve it as a main course is to use it as stuffing for green peppers. I've done that a few times and it's fantastic. The salad takes on a whole different dimension of taste when it is baked inside hollowed-out green bell peppers.