Simple Black Bean Quinoa Salad
This gluten-free black bean quinoa salad has quickly become our go-to meal. It’s easy, delicious and makes a satisfying gluten-free lunch or dinner.
Surprisingly, quinoa is gluten-free seed, not a grain. It’s also a nutritional powerhouse, being high in protein and contains all essential amino acids. Serve this to your family and you’re offering a delicious, healthy meal. My family loves this so much that when my daughter left for college she took a big container of it with her!
There are many different varieties of quinoa. Some have stronger flavors than others. We prefer the white quinoa, which has a milder flavor. Experiment to see which is your favorite.
Due to its outer coating, quinoa can be very bitter. Rinsing it well under water prior to cooking will take away the bitter, soapy-like taste. Once rinsed, quinoa is as simple to cook as rice, one part quinoa, two parts water, or broth, depending on the recipe you’re creating.
We threw this gluten-free black bean quinoa salad together one night needing a simple meal with little time in the kitchen, using what we had on hand. Each time we make it, we change it up just a bit. Add in seasonal ingredients like cucumbers and cherry tomatoes in the summertime right from the Farmer’s Market. In the fall add in cooked, diced sweet potatoes, pumpkin or squash. Layering the flavors will change it up each time. Start with this recipe as your base and be creative!
Create your quinoa salad
Start with preparing the beans as they need to soak for a few hours, or overnight. Rinse a can of organic black beans. Place in a bowl with enough water to cover the beans, along with a bay leaf or a piece of Kombu (Japanese sea vegetable). This helps make the beans less gassy for digestion. Let sit for 1-4 hours or overnight prior to use.
Measure one cup of quinoa. Rinse well in a mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Then, place quinoa in pot and add two cups of water. (May substitute for vegetable or chicken broth.)
Bring to a boil, then cover. Turn off the heat and leave the pot alone for 15 minutes – do not lift the lid. The quinoa should be completely cooked and fluffed up. If not yet ready, cover for another 5 minutes until all the water is absorbed.
While the quinoa is cooking, chop up your veggies into small bite sized pieces. These ingredients can change if you are cooking seasonally.
Add all chopped veggies to a large bowl. After soaking, rinse the beans and add them to the veggies.
Fluff up the quinoa with a fork and place warm quinoa with the beans and veggies.
Add 1 t dried basil and 1 T parsley (use a bunch of fresh chopped parsley if available), 2 T olive oil (more if needed) and the juice of one lime.
Stir all together then sprinkle with sea salt or pink Himalayan salt.
Place in fridge until ready to serve.
Serve your black bean quinoa salad in bowls with diced avocado and fresh chopped parsley over the top.
This makes a great dinner or lunch –
perfect to take to school or work.
Or have a working lunch at home – served over a baked sweet potato.
Will you try this recipe?
Let me know in the comments below!