Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

11 Feb

I’m always on the look out for great salads. When I find a salad that is delicious and can sit in the fridge ready for lunches… I’m sold. B’s wee adventure to Cuba had me looking for a salad with Cuban influence, they were few and far between. So I sashayed across to the Andes, still within Latino territory, where quinoa, the grain-like seed, originates. If you haven’t used quinoa, welcome. Welcome to a seed that is packed with protein and nutrients. It’s filling too.

This salad has so much flavour it knocks my socks off every time I make it. So I guess it is lucky I live in warm weather huh?

You’ll need…

Quinoa, spring onion (scallion), coriander (cilantro), limes for juicing, pickled jalapeño, sweet corn, black beans, celery, garlic, ground cumin, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) comes in a range of colours. Feel free to use whatever colour you like for this recipe, or even a combination like I did here.

First I cooked the quinoa by boiling four cups of water on high heat and adding a tablespoon of salt. After turning the heat down to medium, I added the quinoa and let it simmer for about 12 minutes.

The quinoa is cooked through when the small white tail becomes visible. I then strained it well in a small holed strainer and set it aside to cool a little.

I prepared the rest of the salad ingredients and put them in a big bowl as I went. I chopped the spring onion (scallion), the coriander (cilantro),

the pickled jalapeños, and the celery. The celery is my addition, the original recipe called for red pepper, so by all means use it if you like it.

I drained and rinsed the canned black beans, tossed them in and the corn also. I added the quinoa and mixed well.

Then to make the dressing… I juiced the limes, and added the juice to the oil,

then threw in the salt, pepper, ground cumin and garlic and whisked with a fork. Here limes are bountiful, but back home in Australia I would be substituting the limes for lemons, for the sake of the mortgage.

I poured the dressing over the salad then tossed it all through.

The salad can sit in the fridge until you serve it. I find it also keeps for a couple of days in the fridge. It may last longer, but I haven’t ever managed to keep it that long.

It is a meal on its own, you can also pair it with a piece of roasted chicken, fish, whatever you fancy.

Latin America has me captivated.

Where will B go next? Tag!

adaption of recipe from tasty kitchen


1 1/2 cups quinoa, any combination of colours
1 tablespoon of salt for the quinoa cooking water
1/2 cup chopped spring onions (scallions)
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander (cilantro), for me it took a medium sized bunch
20 slices of pickled jalapeño, chopped
1 cup of chopped celery, or red pepper (capsicum)
1 can of black beans drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups of sweet corn

75ml (5tbsp) fresh lime juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
a good grind of black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cloves garlic minced

Cook the quinoa in simmering salted water until you see the small white tail. That should take around 12 minutes. Drain well and allow to cool a little. Put all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

Combine the dressing ingredients and whisk with a fork before pouring over and stirring through the salad.

The salad is delicious there and then, but you can make it in advance and refrigerate it. It keeps well in the fridge for at least a couple of days.

6 Responses to “Quinoa and Black Bean Salad”

  1. Rischmöller Real Estate 11/02/2012 at 12:10 pm #

    This looks fantastic, and I KNOW it tasted amazing. So glad you love quinoa! If you didn’t know, it is considered a superfood and I just posted the other day about all the health benefits of this amazing little seed. ¡Saludos del Perú!


    • Alice 12/02/2012 at 9:53 am #

      Thanks for that extra info! I do love it, it needs good flavours with it to carry it I find.

  2. crazyauntlala 11/02/2012 at 5:01 pm #

    You girls and your crazy quinoa! I love it!

    • Alice 12/02/2012 at 9:56 am #

      Lala, try it! And then let us know what you think.

  3. Kandis 12/02/2012 at 1:53 am #

    So I have prepared this for dinner tonight, just letting the quinoa cool a little before I dish it all up with some BBQ chicken. LOOKS amazing! Can’t wait to eat it. I did the quinoa in the rice cooker as well and it seemed to work really well – I noticed as it cooks those little white tail things come off it – am I supposed to scrape that from the edges and discard it? Does it matter if that ends up in the quinoa a little?

    • Alice 12/02/2012 at 9:55 am #

      The tails stay attached when I cook it, and yes, eat it all. So glad you tried it Kandis. I was thinking of you and lunches for work when I was thinking what to do next.

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