Today I'm looking for some sort of a salad recipe that uses Quinoa, as I have plenty left over from a meal last week. So forget thumbing thru the old recipe books, most of which don't even have any entries in the index under Q!
First I found a delicious-looking recipe at a fun blog called Tea and cookies, but the ingredients it called for were too summery, and I want to work with what I got in the frig!
Next I came across this Mexican recipe with black beans, lime, cilantro and jalapeno on a website called the Savvy Vegetarian, she says "it's similar to Tabouleh, but quinoa is both heartier and sturdier than couscous. Quinoa black bean salad is a great one dish meal, and also goes well with crusty artisan bread or tortillas chips with salsa, guacamole etc."
Savvy Vegetarian's Mexican Style Quinoa Black Bean Salad
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups cold water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups cooked black beans. If using canned beans, drain and rinse well
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced, OR 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 red pepper, sliced thin
- 1 large ripe tomato
- 1 green pepper, sliced thin
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 2 Tblsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- Pinch cayenne or chili powder
- 2 Tblsp chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions
- Optional: 1/2 cup sliced olives
- The quinoa can be made ahead of time and refrigerated
- Soak the quinoa 1/2 hour in cold water
- Rinse very thoroughly in water several times. For each rinse, pour off most of the water and finish draining through a large fine mesh strainer
- Place in 2 qt pot with 1 1/2 c. water and 1/2 tsp salt
- Bring to a boil, turn down to low, cover tightly, and cook for 15 minutes
- Remove from heat and allow to sit 5 minutes covered
- Fluff gently with a fork and set aside to cool.
- Saute jalapeno, fresh garlic, in 2 Tbsp oil until garlic is browned, pepper and celery are softened
- Add the green and red peppers and saute briefly
- Add the cumin and coriander, cook and stir 5 minutes
- Blend dressing ingredients with a whisk or shake in a jar
- Gently combine sauteed veggies, tomatoes, black beans, quinoa and dressing in a large bowl
- Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Stir in cilantro and scallions, and serve warm or cover and chill for later
Helpful Quinoa Hints:
- Quinoa has high oil content, so should be stored in the fridge or freezer to avoid becoming rancid
- A tight fitting lid is essential for even cooking
- Quinoa is coated with saponin, which will give it a bitter taste unless you wash it very thoroughly - those tiny flaky bits in the rinse water are the saponin
- Because of it's high protein and oil content, quinoa is a satisfying meal with a few nuts or beans and veggies added.
I changed some of the ingredients around, using what I had at hand, but kept the basic premise of the recipe. I substituted garbanzo beans, skipped tomatoes (duh, it's Alaska in March!) but used delicious sweet Alaska carrots, added Sri Ratcha Sauce (a spicy red pepper sauce) and Maggi (ok, only a German understands this one).
The cilantro definitely makes this dish!
I also tried to slice my finger off! Yes, it was stupid -- this is a very vegan dish, after all!
But silly me tried to fancy-cut the carrot julienne-style. Lesson learned: don't be in a hurry with a sharp chef's knife!