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Red Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

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Tasty Kitchen Blog: Red Quinoa and Black Bean Salad. Guest post by Dara Michalski of Cookin' Canuck, recipe submitted by TK member Kay Heritage of The Church Cook.

 
It was many years ago when my mum first set a bowl of quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) in front of me. It didn’t look like rice. To my teenaged self, it resembled something straight out of a hippie-infested Woodstock-ian field. Quinoa is, in fact, a grain that originated in South America and was once known as “the gold of the Incas”. It became a sustaining grain for the people of the Andean region about 6000 years before Jerry Garcia and Janis Joplin performed for the long-tressed flower-carrying children of the sixties.

Quinoa can be found in well-stocked supermarkets or health food stores, sold in boxes or in bulk. It is either sold as regular quinoa, which is tan in color, or in this pretty red version. If you are trying to clean up your diet, quinoa is a virtual powerhouse of protein, fiber and folate. I figure I can eat about four slices of bacon for every cup of quinoa I consume. Somehow I don’t think you will find that recommendation sanctioned by any national health organizations, but I can guarantee it will keep that feeling of deprivation in check.

This Red Quinoa and Black Bean Salad by The Church Cook is packed with colorful vegetables, black beans, and a complementary lime-cumin dressing. My husband and I were immediately enamored with the taste and texture of this salad, and proceeded to eat several helpings, either by itself or combined with cooked chicken breast in whole-wheat wraps.

Now, I have a little confession to make. I typically use the lazy cook’s way of preparing quinoa. I simply combine one part quinoa with two parts water in a medium saucepan, bring the mixture to a bowl, cover and reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the quinoa absorbs all of the water, about 20 minutes—just like cooking rice.

However, when I read Kay’s slightly more complicated method, I was up for the challenge. This is the method I am presenting to you in the following photos. Now, a cook that is not as messy as me probably will not spill the quinoa (and end up with a good quantity in her hair) when transferring the quinoa from the cheesecloth to the bowl. By the time I was done, it looked as though a tornado had blown throw my kitchen, leaving a very happy dog (licking the floor) in its wake.

For my own sanity and time considerations on busy weeknights, I will stick with my boil and simmer method. Whichever route you choose, I guarantee that you will be smitten by the tangy dressing, fresh vegetables, tender pop of the quinoa, and the promise of healthy protein and fiber.

Let’s start with the dressing.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Red Quinoa and Black Bean Salad. Guest post by Dara Michalski of Cookin' Canuck, recipe submitted by TK member Kay Heritage of The Church Cook.

You’ll need fresh lime juice, salt, garlic, cilantro, cumin, and olive oil. You’ll want some freshly ground pepper, too.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Red Quinoa and Black Bean Salad. Guest post by Dara Michalski of Cookin' Canuck, recipe submitted by TK member Kay Heritage of The Church Cook.

In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, salt, minced garlic, chopped cilantro, and cumin.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Red Quinoa and Black Bean Salad. Guest post by Dara Michalski of Cookin' Canuck, recipe submitted by TK member Kay Heritage of The Church Cook.

Whisking constantly, slowly add olive oil in a thin stream until combined.

Season with pepper, to taste. Set aside.

Now let’s tackle the quinoa.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Red Quinoa and Black Bean Salad. Guest post by Dara Michalski of Cookin' Canuck, recipe submitted by TK member Kay Heritage of The Church Cook.

There is a natural coating on quinoa called saponin, which can have a bitter taste. In nature, the saponin helps to repel birds and insects. You have to love a grain that can fend for itself.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Red Quinoa and Black Bean Salad. Guest post by Dara Michalski of Cookin' Canuck, recipe submitted by TK member Kay Heritage of The Church Cook.

To remove any bitter taste, rinse the quinoa in several changes of cold water. Each time, let most of the quinoa sink to bottom of the bowl, then pour off the water.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Red Quinoa and Black Bean Salad. Guest post by Dara Michalski of Cookin' Canuck, recipe submitted by TK member Kay Heritage of The Church Cook.

Strain the quinoa in a large fine mesh sieve.

Bring 1 ½ quarts (about 6 cups) water to a boil in a medium saucepan and add some salt. Pour in the quinoa and boil for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare a colander by lining it with cheesecloth. I used the steamer insert for my double-boiler.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Red Quinoa and Black Bean Salad. Guest post by Dara Michalski of Cookin' Canuck, recipe submitted by TK member Kay Heritage of The Church Cook.

You can also use this time to prepare the other ingredients that go into this salad.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Red Quinoa and Black Bean Salad. Guest post by Dara Michalski of Cookin' Canuck, recipe submitted by TK member Kay Heritage of The Church Cook.

Drain the quinoa into the cheesecloth.

Add 2 inches of water to the bottom of the pot and bring the water to a boil. Set the steamer insert (with cheesecloth and quinoa) over the boiling water and cover. Be certain that the quinoa is not touching the water. Steam for 10 minutes.

Fluff the quinoa with a fork and cool.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Red Quinoa and Black Bean Salad. Guest post by Dara Michalski of Cookin' Canuck, recipe submitted by TK member Kay Heritage of The Church Cook.

In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, black beans, corn, chopped red and orange bell peppers, jalapeno pepper, cilantro, and green onions.

 
 
 
Tasty Kitchen Blog: Red Quinoa and Black Bean Salad. Guest post by Dara Michalski of Cookin' Canuck, recipe submitted by TK member Kay Heritage of The Church Cook.

Toss gently with the dressing and serve at room temperature.

Thank you to Kay for this salad that quickly earned a place in our regular lunch and dinner line-ups. Be sure to check out her blog The Church Cook for many other innovative, tasty recipes.

 
 

Printable Recipe

Red Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

See post on The Church Cook (Kay Heritage)’s site!
4.81 Mitt(s) 22 Rating(s)22 votes, average: 4.81 out of 522 votes, average: 4.81 out of 522 votes, average: 4.81 out of 522 votes, average: 4.81 out of 522 votes, average: 4.81 out of 5

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Difficulty: Intermediate

Servings: 6

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Description

Healthy, delicious Red Quinoa and Black Bean Salad. Great as a side with fish tacos or as a vegetarian meal.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE DRESSING:
  • 5 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 whole Garlic Clove, Finely Mined
  • ¼ cups Finely Chopped Fresh Cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin, Or To Taste
  • ⅓ cups Olive Oil
  • ½ teaspoons Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
  • _____
  • FOR THE SALAD:
  • 1-½ cup Red Quinoa (sold In Health Food Stores)
  • 1 Tablespoon Table Salt, Add When Boiling Quinoa
  • 1 can (14 Oz. Can) Black Beans, Drained, Rinsed
  • 1-½ cup Corn Kernels, Fresh (cut From About 2 Large Ears)
  • 1 cup Finely Chopped Colored Sweet Bell Peppers
  • 1 whole Jalapeño Chilies, Seeded And Minced (wear Rubber Gloves)
  • ¼ cups Finely Chopped Fresh Cilantro
  • ¼ cups Finely Chopped Green Onions

Preparation Instructions

For the dressing:
In a small bowl whisk together lime juice, salt, minced garlic, chopped cilantro, and cumin and add oil in a stream, whisking. Add pepper to taste. Set aside.

For the salad:
In a large bowl wash quinoa in at least 5 changes of cold water, rubbing grains and letting them settle before pouring off most of water, until water runs clear. Drain in a large fine sieve.

In a medium size pot, add the table salt to 1-1/2 quarts of boiling water and cook quinoa 10 minutes. Prepare a colander with cheese cloth over it and drain the cooked quinoa into cheese cloth.

Add 2 inches of water into the pot and bring water to boil. Place the quinoa (still in the colander or another small pan, so you have a double boiler effect), cover cooked quinoa with the cheesecloth and put a lid on your pot. Steam for an additional 10 minutes. Do not let quinoa touch the water. Fluff quinoa with a fork and cool.

Combine in a large mixing bowl the beans, corn, remaining vegetables, herbs, and cooled quinoa. Toss gently with the dressing. Can be prepared a day ahead for flavors to combine. Serve at room temperature.

 
 
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Dara Michalski is a doll and a sweetheart who clearly knows her way around the kitchen. She blogs at Cookin’ Canuck, where she shares her flavor-packed recipes and fun, engaging writing. The photography’s pretty incredible, too.

 

56 Comments

Comments are closed for this recipe.

Michelle on 4.21.2011

Is there a taste difference between red and brown quinoa? Wonder if I could substitute brown quinoa in this recipe.

Rebecca on 3.23.2011

Have had a bag of red Quinoa sitting in the cupboard for a couple of weeks now. I bought it because I wanted to try it, but didn’t really know what to do with it. So glad I stumbled across this recipe.

Peyton-Leigh on 2.1.2011

I always see quinoa in the store and am tempted to buy it because I know it is so good for you but I’ve been scared because I had NO clue how to prepare it!! Thank you for posting this because it looks soooo yummy!!! I have a love affair with cilantro so any recipe that calls for it, I’m on it!! :D

Denise on 1.26.2011

Thank you for the AWESOME recipe! I made it this morning for dinner but couldn’t wait – I’m eating it right now! I’ve never had quinoa before and it’s delicious! My three yr old even liked it! Trying to make healthier choices this year and this was a fantastic way to start!!d

Fran on 1.24.2011

My ex was constantly making quinoa salads. She would boil the quinoa (easy method) and then add whatever veggies were in season at the time. Good to see an actual recipe to try. :)

Texcin on 1.20.2011

Thank you for this info. I have tried quinoa in the past and it tasted bitter. I did not know about the rinsing. I will try it again.

LB on 1.20.2011

Your recipe looks great and I will be trying it out soon. I just wanted to point out that quinoa can be prepared in a rice cooker as well – I have never had an issue and it is a much simpler process that way. Also, several brands of quinoa (i.e. Bob’s Red Mill and others) have been pre rinsed – another step saved!

Carrie Alexander on 1.20.2011

This. Was. INSANE!!!! Loved it!!!! I am a teacher, and when I pulled this out for lunch, everyone in the staff room demanded the recipe. I think I might have just helped Tasty Kitchen gain about 30 new fans!

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thechildcooks on 1.19.2011

That looks really good, sadly I have less than half of those ingredients availible at the moment…
~thechildcooks

Shelly on 1.19.2011

Love quinoa! Thank you for posting this recipe, Ree! I’m planning on making this for dinner tonight (with the added avocado and quesadillas on the side for the kiddos as Tina suggested). Think I’ll stick with the boil method – the fewer times I transfer those tiny grains, the better. Signed, slob in the kitchen.

Tina Isakson on 1.19.2011

This salad was great, we had it last night for dinner (although I admit I did use the easy-cook quinoa method). We served it with hunks of avocado and some cheese quesadillas (to pacify the little ones) and it was a huge hit. Thanks.

Jen on 1.19.2011

I tried to make a salad similar to this, but I cooked the quinoa like rice and it ended up rubbery. I will definitely try this cooking method next time!

Karina on 1.19.2011

I saw this recipe on here yesterday and tried it out last night for my husband and myself. It was delicious! We bought a bag of quinoa at Costco and have been looking for delicious recipes to use it in. I will be making this again. Great summer salad…throw some chicken in there and it’s a full meal deal. Thanks again!

Richy on 1.19.2011

I rarely use black beans on anything. I have to give this a try.

Shelly on 1.18.2011

Quinoa is so versatile …. I sometimes use it in place of bulgur in Tabouli, use it as a breakfast cereal. I would try some mango in this salad … I think it would go nicely with the lime dressing, perhaps even a handful of dried cranberries too

Camille B on 1.18.2011

I just made this for dinner tonight and loved it! I had some tomatoes that were on their last limb, so I threw them in for good measure. Will definitely be making this again.

Kimberly on 1.18.2011

I made this salad yesterday and it was delicious. I used the white quinoa because I didn’t have the red. Ate it again for lunch today. I cooked the qunioa using your “easy” way of boiling & simmering. This salad is a MUST try.

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Carrie @ Deliciously Organic on 1.18.2011

I’ve always loved quinoa paired with Mexican flavors. While it would be prudent to eat this salad alone, I can’t help but wonder how it would taste with corn chips. ;)

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With Style and Grace on 1.18.2011

This is absolutely beautiful and so healthy! Can’t wait to make this – thank you for sharing!

Anne on 1.18.2011

Made this last night almost immediately after seeing the recipe here. We love quinoa and I’m always looking for new ways to cook it…LOVE THIS!

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Soyon on 1.18.2011

I love quinoa. Congrats Kay on featured on a step-by-step!!!

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The Country Cook on 1.18.2011

I am so happy you did this post. I have seen so many recipes lately that use quinoa as an ingredient. Also I realized I have been totally pronouncing it wrong. Um, oops. I was calling it Kee-noah…lol. Glad I never asked for it by name at the store. Great post as always Dara and thank you to The Church Cook for the inspiration :)

Katie Dean on 1.18.2011

I have never heard of it needing to be cooked in such a complicated manner. Am I missing out on something? I always just boiled it down, like oatmeal.

This looks amazing and look forward to trying it!

marla {family fresh cooking} on 1.18.2011

Dara, this quinoa is gorgeous & your photography is stunning. Must try for a meatless meal option!

Tina Kercher on 1.18.2011

We love quinoa! I’ve made the Trader Joe’s version of this recipe several times and it is a huge hit!

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warmvanillasugar on 1.18.2011

Amazing! I love quinoa! Thanks for the awesome instructions!

amy on 1.18.2011

Quinoa is great with scrambled eggs. I use it anywhere you would use a starch…and it is gluteen free…as was this entire recipe!

Melissa on 1.17.2011

We LOVE quinoa!!!!! I will totally be trying this recipe! Quinoa is also delicious when cooked in chicken broth instead of water.

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Marie Lancup, aka the ©EpicureanPiranha on 1.17.2011

Lovely photography, and the recipe sounds delish!

The Fromagette on 1.17.2011

I didn’t notice any bacon in this! Oh yeah, we are still on our new years behavior…looks fresh + yummy :)

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Wenderly on 1.17.2011

I just adore quinoa! This salad just looks spectacular! Fresh, flavorful, colorful…what else could one want?

Katherine on 1.17.2011

I love, love, love quinoa. I can’t wait to try this recipe. I am also looking forward to doctoring a bit with things from my garden when summer gets here. My favorite way to use it is in a hawaiian sloppy joe with tomato paste, some garlic powder, a can of black beans and a can of diced pineapple with a dash of soy. I haven’t tried it as a salad though. I bet it would be great in a pita or a wrap! Can’t wait!

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cookincanuck on 1.17.2011

CaliMommi – I’m looking forward to seeing your recipe. I hope you’ll post it on Tasty Kitchen.

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cookincanuck on 1.17.2011

Ree – Thanks so much. Quinoa is as easy to cook as rice and I guarantee that you will fall in love with its versatility and convenience.

Kay – Thanks so much for such a wonderful recipe!

kitschameaux – LOL. That’s how I feel about it, too.

Heather – I agree. Kay did a great job with this recipe.

Kristen – Thanks. I hope you enjoy it.

Kathy – Even more reasons to try it!

Hannah – Avocado and quinoa would be a perfect combination for both taste and texture.

Tiffiany – In the spirit of the supportive community that Ree has worked so hard to foster on Tasty Kitchen, feel free to keep those types of comments to yourself.

Moving on.

Katie – I’ll have to check out your Quinoa Taco Salad. It sounds like a wonderful way to highlight quinoa.

CaliMommiof2 on 1.17.2011

This is too funny. I just made a yummy quinoa salad today & thought of posting the recipe….:-) great minds!

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goodlifeeats on 1.17.2011

I’ve made something similar that I call Quinoa Taco Salad. I serve it on top of a bed of baby spinach and cilantro. I can’t wait to try this version too. I haven’t used red quinoa before. I will have to look for it. Great pics too, Dara!

Tiffiany on 1.17.2011

A famous Italian lady said

“First ,you eat with your eyes”.

The recipe pictured here looks disgusting.

Hannah Q. on 1.17.2011

I make a very similar version of this with fresh avocado and tomatoes, and whatever dressing I feel like whipping up! I definitely recommend this; it tastes great warm or cold and makes wonderful leftovers!

Kathy K on 1.17.2011

Fast fact: Quinoa is a grain that is a COMPLETE protein. Beans must be combined with a grain to be complete (like beans and rice). Quinoa is complete on its own. Love that! I have never tried it as a breakfast cereal either. I ‘ll give it a try.

Kristen M. on 1.17.2011

Thanks so much for sharing this delicious and beautiful recipe! So thankful for the healthy inspiration and am excited to get home and make it!

Heather (Heather's Dish) on 1.17.2011

when quinoa is cooked well i LOVE it…this is definitely one of those instances where it’s cooked well :)

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kitschameaux on 1.17.2011

I joined TK just to comment on this recipe. I first tried quinoa a few months ago and absolutely loved it! Seriously, it’s kind of embarrassing how much I ate the first time I tried it. I absolutely cannot wait to try this salad as I also adore black beans! Ahh, my day just got so much better!

Kay @ The Church Cook on 1.17.2011

Dara, you did such a fantastic job with the photos! The colors and texture of the food just leap out of this screen. Thank you so much for featuring this recipe. :)

Ree on 1.17.2011

Dara, this looks so delicious. I’m so mystified by quinoa and haven’t used it much at all. And thank you The Church Cook for sharing the awesome recipe!

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cookincanuck on 1.17.2011

Jessica, Laura, Teri, ajane – Be sure to give this one a try. The flavor is fantastic!

Carolyn – I urge you to give it another try! Paired with the right dressing and mixings, the flavor and texture is really nice.

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ajane on 1.17.2011

I too have never tried quinoa, but have heard a lot about it lately.
This recipe looks amazing and it’s exciting to try new foods. Can’t wait…:)

carolyn on 1.17.2011

I tried eating quinoa for the first time a couple of weeks ago. Didn’t like the taste or the smell. Reminded me of cauliflower.

Teri on 1.17.2011

I live under a rock so I never heard of it but it looks fabulous.

laura @ alittlebarefoot on 1.17.2011

i love quinoa – what a gorgeous and healthy salad.

Jessica @ How Sweet It Is on 1.17.2011

I adore quinoa! Always looking for new ways to spice it up.