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Quinoa & Black Bean Salad


When I was diagnosed with CD, I was told that I could eat rice, rice bread, fruits, veggies, and meat. Oh yeah, and I could use rice flour in my baking. My first thought was that I was going to starve to death if rice flour in my food tasted anything like the cookies I’d tried a few weeks prior to that. But, being the resourceful person that I am with my never-ending thirst for knowlege, I came straight home to my computer and did research. Thankfully, there is much more out there than just rice – especially since I really can’t stand too many products with a rice flour base.

This now leads me to Quinoa [keen-wah], which was a main food staple for the Inca civilization, who believed this crop to be sacred. Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain, and is also a good source of dietary fibre, calcium, phosphorous, vitamin E, and several B vitamins, as well as containing high amounts of magnesium, potassium, and iron. This grain is easy to digest and contains almost all 8 essential amino acids (this is a plus because these are important for human tissue development). Interestingly, I just found out that technically speaking quinoa is a fruit in the Chenopodium family. It is classified as a grain simply because of it’s cooking properties. Some of its relatives are spinach, swiss chard, and beets (all favourites of mine). I’m kind of wishing that I had chosen quinoa for my ingredient in this week’s Menu Swap, but oh well, next time.

I should add now, that it is very important that you wash/rinse the quinoa really well. I like to put it in a strainer and just hold it under running water for a few minutes, making sure that the water is draining out clear. This is because quinoa tends to have a green filmy coat around it that can effect the taste in a very bad way.

I was first introduced to quinoa last summer when I decided to make a Roast Chicken with Quinoa Stuffing. I had found the recipe in my travels and it sounded so good that I couldn’t resist, so I used my parents as guinea pigs. It was delicious. Then, in October, Choices Market was holding a GF cooking class for Celiac Awareness Month and I thought it might be interesting to go. I gained some wonderful recipes that I’ve made over and over again, one of them being Quinoa & Black Bean Salad.

This salad is fairly easy to make. I tend to mix it with my salad for lunches and sometimes add salad dressing, which is what I like about this recipe, it’s easy to mold to whatever your tastes are calling for.

Quinoa & Black Bean Salad (on a bed of greens)
(by Choices own Antonio Cerullo)

Ingredients:
1 C. quinoa
398 ml can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red/yellow pepper, diced
1 small red onion
341 ml can of corn
1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped

Dressing:
1/2 a lime, juiced
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. EVOO
1 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. sea salt

  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Pour in quinoa and return to a boil.
  2. Simmer uncovered until all water has evaporated.
  3. Chill the cooked quinoa and then combine with the other ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Mix the dressing ingredients separately and then pour over salad.

Serves 6

Will last in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Notes:

  • lemon juice can be used instead of lime
  • instead of quinoa, you can try millet, rice, or buckwheat
  • great with chopped up mushrooms

*The pictures don’t really do this salad justice – I had already put it away after getting my lunch together.

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Categories: Uncategorized
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