Let’s talk a little about quinoa because it is SO delicious and SO healthy! Did you know that quinoa does not actually fall under the ‘grain’ category and it is actually a ‘seed’. This is one of the reasons why it’s accepted as part of most dietary regimes. (Not that there is anything wrong whatsoever with grains!) It is so versatile and has such a nutty and delicious flavour.
For those that are concerned about the lack of protein in a vegan diet, quinoa has an ample amount of protein, or shall I say bio-available amino acids. These amino-acids, especially paired with legumes, give you complete protein. And given that our teeth and intestines are made to consume and absorb plant proteins, your body will thank you!
The nutrition facts for 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of cooked quinoa are (USDA Food Composition Database):
- Calories: 120
- Water: 72%
- Protein: 4.4 grams
- Carbs: 21.3 grams
- Sugar: 0.9 grams
- Fiber: 2.8 grams
- Fat: 1.9 grams
It’s important to note that the above macronutrients are accompanied by loads more micronutrients such as manganese, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, zinc and other nutritional goodness! Quinoa is also gluten free and low on the glycemic index.
And when paired with legumes, like black beans in this recipe, you have a solid protein-filled dish without the cholesterol or saturated fat! What’s great about quinoa salads is that there are endless variations and you can add whatever your heart desires. If you are fairly new to creating plant-based quinoa dishes, start with this one and tweak it to find your own creation based on your favourite veggies or other additions! I pretty much just use whatever veggies I currently have growing in my garden!
HOW TO COOK QUINOA
- Follow a two to one ratio of water to quinoa! So, if you’re using 1 cup of quinoa, use two cups of water.
- While boiling water in a pot, rinse your quinoa under running water. (Rinsing gets rid of a slight bitter taste)
- Add quinoa to the pot, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the water has absorbed. Fluff the quinoa with a fork.
- I always recommend batch cooking to have extra quinoa on hand throughout the week. You can also freeze quinoa to throw into your soups or stir-frys.
- If you have an Instant Pot, add 1 cup quinoa to 1.5 cups of water, set it to 1 minute manual, natural release for 7 minutes and it’s done!
I hope you enjoy this Summer Quinoa and Black Bean Salad!
Summer Quinoa and Black Bean Salad
- 1 cup quinoa uncooked
- 1 14oz can black beans
- 1 cup zucchini diced
- 1 bell pepper diced
- 3/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 cup parsley chopped
- 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes chopped
- 1 lime juiced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- Cook quinoa according to instructions.
- Rinse and drain beans.
- In a bowl, combine quinoa, beans, veggies, pine nuts, parsley, sundried tomatoes.
- In a small bowl, combine remaining dressing ingredients.
- Toss to combine.
- Enjoy. Can be eaten immediately, but also delicious post refrigeration when flavours have marinated!