Recipe creation is a funny thing. There are those moments when no amount of testing produces the result I’m looking for. I’ll put so much work into a recipe, only to have it fall short after hours (or days) of work. Vegan baked goods are notorious for being fussy at times, especially when trying to make something wholesome without sacrificing flavour. I usually toss the recipe into my reject pile, in case I’m ever crazy enough to dig it out. Sometimes I am. Other times, I don’t want anything to do with it. ever. again.
Then there are moments, like this salad recipe, that come together effortlessly. With no real plan or guide, I just follow my instincts and taste buds. That’s the best kind of recipe! Summer dishes shine like this which is why I love creating new dishes this time of the year. Things are more simple and the fresh ingredients speak for themselves.
On Friday, we were rushing to get out the door for a weekend at the in-laws and I had a small window of opportunity to throw some food together. I usually try to bring a big batch of Vegan overnight oats, some snacks like hummus and crackers and fruit, and a hearty grain and bean salad. Booze, to balance it all out. Thankfully, I had some cooked quinoa in the fridge and then from there I pulled out a few ingredients from the crisper, decided on an overall flavour, and then whisked together a simple dressing to pour on top.
Black beans. Quinoa. Green onions. Carrots. Cilantro. Cumin. Lime. Love.
Oh, and don’t forget to shoot some quick photos before throwing it into a container and flying out the door!!
Fresh. Delicious. Ready in the amount of time it takes to cook a batch of quinoa. I’ll take it!
If you’re looking for a simple salad to prepare for a road trip, picnic, or just a light lunch, I hope you’ll give this a try! I like to make it the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight. I have a few more family gatherings this week due to some very special visitors and I already plan on making it at least two more times this week. What can I say, when I like something I want to make it all the time.
This black bean quinoa salad is so fresh and tangy! It's delicious paired with creamy avocado and fresh pita bread or crackers. If you're not as big of a fan as I am of tangy/acidic dressings, feel free to reduce the amount of lime juice called for.
For the salad:
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa (or 3 cups cooked)
- 1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can black beans (or 1 1/2 cups cooked), drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 3 medium carrots, julienned (about 1 1/2 cups) or 1 large chopped and roasted sweet potato
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- Fine grain sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Lemon-Tahini Dressing (optional)
- Sliced avocado (optional)
- Endurance Crackers, pita bread, or crackers of choice (optional)
For the dressing:
- 5 to 5 1/2 tablespoons (75 to 82.5 mL) fresh lime juice, to taste
- 4 tablespoons (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) pure maple syrup, or to taste
- 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
- To prepare the quinoa: Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh sieve. Add into pot along with 1.5 cups (375 mL) water or veggie broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low-medium, and then cover with a tight-fitting lid. Simmer for 14 to 17 minutes until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy. Remove from heat and steam with the lid on for 5 additional minutes. Fluff with fork and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
- In a large bowl, toss the quinoa, drained and rinsed black beans, cilantro, carrots (or roasted sweet potato), and green onions.
- Whisk together the dressing in a small bowl or jar. Adjust to taste if desired. Pour onto salad and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste until everything pops.
- Spoon into bowl and drizzle on some Lemon-Tahini Dressing. Top with sliced avocado and serve with Endurance Crackers, if desired.
- The flavours tend to mellow when this salad sits in the fridge, as the quinoa absorbs the dressing a lot. I recommend giving it a "refresh" by adding a squeeze of lime juice, a drizzle of olive oil, and more seasonings to taste. Stir it all together, and taste.
Nutrition Information(click to expand)
Another thought – this would also be fantastic with diced avocado and/or mango! Summer tomatoes too. Have fun playing around with the recipe…it’s a good one to adapt.