While quinoa has been a staple in South America for thousands of years, it has made a name for itself in North American with good reason. It holds bragging rights as the grain with the most protein and contains a high amount of calcium and iron! Although quinoa can be treated like a grain and it often used as a substitute for rice, quinoa isn’t technically a grain, but rather is a seed of a leafy plant. Quinoa is a great option for many vegans and vegetarians because of its high protein content, and is also great at steadying blood sugar levels due to its high fiber content and low glycemic index. Quinoa also contains plenty of phosphorous, copper, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins B and E. For even more health benefits you can sprout quinoa to increase available enzymes and phytonutrients. Three cheers for quinoa! Enjoy it in hot dishes, in salads or even in desserts and granola bars.
This salad is one of my favorites and is definitely a staple. Plus, it’s so simple to make! Enjoy :)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 2-3 limes)
- 4 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp finely minced jalapeno (optional)
- 1 cup diced red bell pepper (about 1 pepper)
- one 14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed (or dried black beans, soaked and cooked)
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- Bring the water and quinoa to a boil in medium saucepan. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave saucepan covered on the burner for another 4 minutes. Fluff with fork and allow quinoa to cool.
- Place quinoa in a large bowl. Whisk the oil, limejuice, apple cider vinegar, cumin and jalapeno (if using) in a small bowl. Stir the dressing into the quinoa. Toss with red pepper, black beans, cilantro and salt.
- Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
Recipe adapted from: Green, P., Hemming, C. (2010). Quinoa 365: the everyday superfood. Whitecap books; British Columbia.