Friday, April 3, 2009

Vegan Recipe - Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

Today is the first Friday of the month and that means ... a vegan recipe. If you are a new visitor to Reduce Footprints, you might be asking yourself how a vegan recipe is in keeping with living a greener life. Well, simply put ... it takes less resources to produce plant based foods than it does animal products. So ... eating meatless meals is one of the easiest (and tastiest) ways to walk a little gentler on the earth. If you'd care to read a little more on the subject, you can read one of my earlier posts entitled "Eat your Veggies".

This next recipe reminds me of spring with it's beautiful colors. It's a flavorful dish, perfect for a picnic or potluck dinner. It can be made ahead of time for a quick meal and just gets better as it sits. In my house, we enjoy it as a main dish with small Arepas (Venezuelan corn cakes) on the side.

The star of this dish is Quinoa ... a pseudocereal (like buckwheat or amaranth) which is a nutritional powerhouse. It has a high protein content (12-18%) and contains a balanced set of essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source. It's full of fiber and is high in magnesium and iron. It is gluten-free and easy to digest. Do
n't let the nutrition of this dish scare you (or your kids), though ... it's delicious! I hope you enjoy it!

Black Bean and Quinoa Salad


  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or water
  • 1 cup white corn
  • 2 scallions chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed well
  • Cilantro or Parsley to your taste
  • 1 finely diced jalapeno (optional)
  • 3-4 tablespoons oil... not a heavy olive
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


Soak quinoa for five minutes then drain (use a mesh strainer ... quinoa are very small and will fall through most strainers). Cook either in vegetable stock or water for 15 minutes. In the last five minutes put in the corn if using frozen. If any liquid remains in the pot at the end of the cooking time, remove the lid and continue cooking until it is absorbed. Cool the mixture.

Mix the quinoa and remaining ingredients in a bowl. Pour the dressing in and mix well. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least two hours. Enjoy!

Note: This is a versatile recipe and can be modified to your taste. For example, try cucumbers and carrots for added flavor and color. In addition to corn, try peas. Experiment with different kinds of beans ... black eyed peas will give you an entirely different taste.

I hope you and your family enjoy this recipe. And ... as always ... I would love to hear from you!