Part of living a simple lifestyle, for me and many others, includes eating low on the food chain. Following a plant-based diet leaves a smaller carbon footprint, is economical, is very healthy, and can be quite delicious.
The following recipe uses simple ingredients and is forgiving to substitutions. It is nice to make ahead and then have on hand for a quick lunch or dinner. It would also work well at a potluck.
Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wa”) is one of my favorite grains. Originating in the Andean region of Peru, it is high in protein, cooks relatively quickly, and tastes great either alone or mixed with other ingredients. It is also gluten-free and simple to digest. I probably serve quinoa in one form or another once a week. Fortunately, my family loves it, too.
Quinoa Salad With Rice and Black Beans
Makes 6 servings
This recipe is based on Grant Butler’s recipe adaptation that appeared in Oregonlive.com.
* 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
* 1 14 1/2-ounce can vegetable broth (divided)
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin (divided)
* 1 cup cooked brown rice (for convenience, use frozen rice and simply reheat)
* 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
* 2 thin green onions, finely sliced
* 1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely diced
* 1/2 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
* 1/2 cup frozen or canned corn kernels
* 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro (optional)
* 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced (optional)
* 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Put the quinoa in a fine sieve and rinse well with water. (This will remove the quinoa’s bitter coating.)
In a small saucepan, combine the quinoa, 1 cup vegetable broth and 1/2 teaspoon cumin. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook 15 to 20 minutes, until the broth has been absorbed. Cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, prepare brown rice according to package directions. Cool to room temperature.
Combine the quinoa and brown rice in a large bowl. Add the black beans, green onions, bell pepper, tomatoes, corn and (optionally) cilantro and jalapeno pepper.
In a small jar put the lime juice, olive oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, salt, several grindings of black pepper and cayenne; cover and shake well to blend. Pour over the salad, mixing well. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.
Have you eaten quinoa? Did you like it? Also, if you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you thought of it.