quinoa and black bean salad - with cilantro lime dressing

Quinoa & Black Bean Salad with Cilantro-Lime Dressing

If you have never tried Quinoa, you should definitely try it out! It is very versatile. I have made it as a hot breakfast cereal, as a pilaf, and in this recipe, I have made it into a cold salad. (A very delicious salad!) Quinoa is actually a seed, rather than a grain. When cooked, it is a little bit chewy, but also fluffy at the same time. It is cooked almost like you would cook rice. It is full of protein and is gluten free! It has been described as a Super-Food because it is a complex carbohydrate with a low glycemic index. Hopefully I’ve convinced you to try it!

Here is my salad recipe:

In a fine mesh strainer, rinse 1 cup of the Quinoa under cold running water. Put the measured 1 cup Quinoa and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 12 minutes (do not remove the lid during the cooking time.) Allow to stand covered for 10 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.

cooked quinoa


Meanwhile, prepare the add-ins (these are what I like to add, but you can add whatever veggies you love…)

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

4 green onions, siced

2 fresh Roma tomatoes, diced

1/2 red (or green) bell pepper, diced

1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced* 

Combine the add-ins with the cooled Quinoa in a large bowl.

Prepare the dressing:

1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 – 3 limes)

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3 – 4 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

1/4 cup oil (olive or canola)

Shake in a small jar with a lid and pour over the salad.

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad with Cilantro-Lime Dressing

Stir to combine. Refrigerate several hours to allow the flavors to blend. *The lime juice will help to prevent the avocado from browning, but if you want, you can add the avocado just before serving.

Serve cold. Because this is so full of protein, it could be served as a meatless main dish!

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