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!


  1. Your salad sounds like it would be very good. I'll ask my wife to make it. Or EVEN try it myself!

  2. That's a pretty tasty looking recipe you've got there!

    I too try to live green (greenly?). Here in Eugene, Oregon, there is a lot of support for that kind of thing. What with composting and recycling, my wife and I get by with only one 30 gallon garbage pickup a month. Even that amount is embarrassing, but it's way better than average I'm sure, for an American anyway.

  3. I have been looking for a recipe Quinoa Salad, I am pleased to have come to your blog. I look forward to reading more.

  4. Oh my...this sounds so yummy!!! Can't wait to try - thank you!


  5. Your salad looks delicious. I've never tried Quinoa, but I do enjoy barley and bulgur wheat, and I'm always on the look out for new and healthy foods. And, jalapeno!! LOVE it with everything. Not too many people will even try it but it's delicious. And, you're right, eating and producing plant based foods is so much better for our planet. To quote what you wrote in your other post:

    "And speaking of growing grain … did you know that the majority of wheat and corn grown … in excess of 70% … goes towards feeding livestock rather than going directly to feeding us?"

    (Imagine how many people would not go hungry if we didn't eat animals)


  6. What a coincidence, I ate quinoa the night before you posted your recipe.

    Not salad though, hot. I love it and it's so much more nutritious than rice (which you get a bit sick of when you're gluten intolerante).

    When I'm done with my allergy elimination diet, I'll have to have a go at your salad recipe.

  7. Yum! Thanks for the great recipe. I love quinoa and this salad sounds like a perfect, fresh way to serve it.


  8. What a great salad. In addition to delicious, you Quinoa and White Corn are native to North America and have tremendous benefits to the environment as well as being delicious and great for us. Add heirloom bell peppers, jalepenos and tomatoes and you've got a salad that is especially healthy and great for the planet and sustainability! Five Stars*****

  9. I've not heard of or seen Quinoa before (not surprising since I don't cook!). Got no idea what it's exactly is. Though I got to admit it looks good.

    Well now that I'm beginning to learn to cook, I'm all out for healthy recipes like this.

    I'll go supermarket hunting for this quinoa item soon..


  10. That sounds delicious, thanks for the recipe.

  11. Hi Monaliza, if you don't find Quinoa at your local grocery store, try a whole foods or health food market ... they usually have it.

    Small Footprints

  12. Oh we love quinoa in our house and I am always trying to come up with new recipes. I will have to try this!!!