Meatless Mondays: Quinoa and black bean salad

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad. (Mike Hensen/QMI Agency)

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad. (Mike Hensen/QMI Agency)

Jill Wilcox, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:05 PM ET

Like many families, our household fluctuates from "empty nest" status to a full complement of family members on weekends, holidays and school breaks.

When I have my "full house" I'm often looking for hearty but easy to transport salads for lunches and quick meals.

I look no further than my kitchen pantry and freezer for inspiration where I will find it chock full of grains, canned beans and other assorted legumes.

They are the ideal ingredients for hearty salads. This week's recipe features quinoa, canned black beans and edamame. Edamame are young fresh soy beans available in the freezer section of grocery stores. They are particularly great in salads and dips.

This colourful salad also gets added crunch from sweet red pepper and carrot and a blast of freshness from cilantro and avocado. The dressing is simple a simple citrus vinaigrette with a hint of cumin.

This salad is a great source of vegetable protein.

I'm also providing a recipe for an easy edamame dip that I like to serve with whole wheat pita and/or raw veggies.

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups (750 ml) cooked red or black quinoa
  • 1 - 19 oz. (540 ml) can of black beans drained and rinsed well
  • 1 c. (250 ml) of cooked edamame
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, 1/2 inch (2.5 cm)dice
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch (2.5 cm)dice
  • 1 c. (250 ml) of chopped cilantro
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced

Dressing:

  • 4 tbsp. (50 ml) of avocado or vegetable oil
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp. (25 ml) lime juice
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) roasted and ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Combine quinoa, beans, edamame pepper, carrot, cilantro and green onions in a bowl. Set aside.

2. Make dressing by combining oil citrus juices and cumin. Whisk together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Toss dressing with salad. Adjust seasoning.

4. Garnish with avocado and serve.

(Serves 6 - 8)

Edamame and Tofu Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 - 1 lb. (450 g) bag of frozen edamame
  • 5 oz. (150 g) soft tofu or Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. (25 ml) lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp. (45 ml) lime juice
  • 2 tsp. (10 ml) ground roasted cumin
  • salt to taste

Directions:

1. Cook frozen edamame in a pot of salted water for 4 - 5 minutes. Drain and let completely cool.

2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Season with salt to taste.

3. Serve with whole wheat pita slices or an assortment of raw veggies.

Options: omit cumin and use curry powder


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