Friday, September 10, 2010

Quinoa Black Bean Salad

Labor Day may have passed, but my kitchen is still swirling with fresh fruits and vegies.  A recent visit to our local Farmer's Market in Vista provided a plethora of delights - poblanos, cilantro, heirloom tomatoes (my favorite find this season!), melons, mushrooms, corn and organic peaches and raspberries... just to name a few.   With my husband's arms overflowing with my treasures, I tossed in a fragrant, white tuberose and our visit was complete.   All of these fresh finds made putting together this healthy side effortless.  

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!!



  1. I've never tried quinoa yet this looks delicious and real simple to make. Healthy too!

    I was going to make a bowtie pasta salad for a dinner get together with friends tomorrow and discovered the side dish was 735 calories per SERVING! Ouch. I This one you have here just might be a good one to experiment with for tomorrow's dish.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Sounds healthy and easy to make but I never tried quinoa in my cooking though...

  3. We're all huge quinoa fan in my household and so we're always looking for new recipes using this wonderful grain/seed. Thank you for sharing this salad, Kim, it looks great! Can't wait to try it!

  4. Yum, it looks great. Will def be adding corn to mine...season is almost over here. Gotta get while the gettins' good. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I have never tried quinoa but this salad makes me wanna go and try it fast. It is colorful and sure tastes great.

  6. Quinoa is one of my favorite grains. I just started using it this summer and now I can't get enough of it - it is chewy, nutty and kinda 'healthy' tasting.... I will be trying this recipe. Thanks for sharing it!

  7. I love quinoa and that salad looks like a great way to eat it!!

  8. I love all the colors in this salad! It looks so amazing!

  9. I've never cooked with or even tried quinoa. My other half needs extra iron so anything I can find like this is preferable! I want to try this.

    I haven't been to the farmer's market here in weeks. Maybe I can get away with a quick visit next Saturday morning to get one more load of fresh veggies. My tomatoes are green as grass and my zucchini is not happening this year. Looks like I get to support our local farmer's more than I thought!

    How late does your farmer's market run?

  10. I love quinoa and am always looking for ways to make it a meal--the addition of the beans really improves the protein content and I could see myself packing this as a lunch or even eating for dinner.

  11. This looks fabulous. And what a super photo... great job.

  12. I am a big quinoa fan too! This looks particularly delicious with lots of great flavor. Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays. ;-)

  13. I've been wanting to use Quinoa for some time now and this salad seems fantastic for it! Mmmm I am hungry!

  14. Quinoa salad is one of my favorites - but I haven't made it in forever? This recipe though is a huge improvement over my usual quinoa state of affairs - can't wait to try! Cheers, Michelle

  15. I love quinoa and make salads with it all the time, I'll be trying your recipe next time.


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