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RECIPE:  BLACK BEAN & QUINOA SALAD

This meal is as big on taste as it is nutrition:  Protein- and fibre-filled beans and quinoa, vitamin-packed spinach, and yogurt for gut-health.

Makes for a perfect lunch to pack to school or work, or serve it warm for a great meat-free dinner.

PREP TIME:  10 min

COOK TIME:  15-20 min

SERVES:   4

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE SALAD:

  • 1 cup (200 g) dry quinoa, rinsed

  • One 14-oz (400 g) can black beans, drained and rinsed

  • One 5-oz (150 g) can corn*

  • 3 cups loosely packed (60g) fresh chopped spinach

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS:

  • Avocado

  • Cherry tomatoes

 

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • ½ cup (120 ml) yogurt

  • ½ cup (120 ml) sunflower oil

  • 2 TB (30 ml) lime juice

  • 1 TB (15 ml) honey or agave

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 sachet TASTE OF SANTA FE spice blend

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

AS A COLD SALAD

1)  Cook quinoa according to directions on package and let cool.

 

2)  Whisk together all dressing ingredients.

 

3)  Add cooled quinoa to a large bowl with the beans, corn and spinach.  Pour over the dressing and mix well to combine.

AS A WARM BOWL

1)  Cook quinoa according to directions on package

 

2)  Warm the beans in a pan over low heat with ¼ cup of water*

 

3)  Whisk together all dressing ingredients.

 

4)  Stir the cooked quinoa and fresh spinach in with the beans, then add the dressing and continue to cook over low heat for 1-2 minutes, just to take the chill off the yogurt.

SERVE

Spoon into individual bowls and enjoy as is, or top with avocado and/or tomatoes as desired.

 

Salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe & Photo Credit:  Cathy Menees

RINSING THE BEANS

I drain and rinse the beans for both texture and looks – all cans of beans vary, but some have a very thick, starchy, liquid in them that can have a bit of a chalky texture, and will also turn everything else in the salad a grey-ish color…not the nicest look.

CORN

In the Netherlands we can buy small cans of corn that are 150g (which is 5.2 ounces).  The smallest can in most US grocery stores is probably 8 ounces (227 g).  Feel free to use the whole 8 ounce can, or reserve for another use – it’s a salad, not an exact science.  :-D

 

The most important thing in my book is to buy corn that has no added sugar.  Corn is naturally sweet – which is why it adds both a great taste and texture balance to this dish.  Any company that adds sugar to their canned corn should be ashamed of themselves!

 

 

SERVING IT WARM

You’ll need to add a bit of water to the beans if you’re going to warm them up as this will keep them from burning and sticking to the pan.  Keep an eye on it as you do want most of the water to evaporate off at the end, a little water left over is ok, the spinach and quinoa will absorb it.  Don’t be tempted to turn the heat up to high…that’s almost guaranteed to lead to burned beans.

COOK'S NOTES

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