With summer officially here I find myself craving salads more and more. This Black Bean Quinoa Chopped Salad has become a summer staple for me. I originally found this recipe in my April 2012 “Fitness” magazine and I keep coming back to it year after year. My version has been modified from the original “California Chipotle Chopped Salad”. I omitted the salt (since the beans I buy already have it added), chipotle chile powder, 1T of the olive oil (since I usually cook w/ spray oil) and red onion. I increased the quinoa and added feta cheese.
I’ve talked to so many people that are intimidated by making quinoa. I have an easy fix. Get yourself a rice cooker. It’s the easiest thing EVER. Pour in 2:1 ratio of water to quinoa and hit the button. (Mine has a brown rice and white rice setting. I use the brown rice setting.) Forget about it until 60-90 minutes later when it’s done! Thank you to my mother-in-law for buying me this since it is something I never would have bought myself. I’ll be honest, I didn’t think I would even use it that much and now it’s the only way I make rice/quinoa. The hardest part is remembering to prep it in advance of prepping the rest of the meal, which is usually no big deal.
Ingredients and nutritionals:
- 3T extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 2T apple cider vinegar
- 2T agave nectar
- ¼ cup of fresh lime juice
- 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1-2t minced garlic
- 2T finely chopped cilantro
- ½ cup dry quinoa – to be cooked in rice cooker
- 1 large head of romaine lettuce
- 1 large tomato or red bell pepper
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 cup feta cheese
- Prepare quinoa – use ½ cup of quinoa to 1 cup of water if using rice cooker.
- Sauté minced garlic, black beans, and cilantro in pan sprayed w/ cooking oil.
- Combine lettuce, tomato, avocado in large bowl.
- Blend apple cider vinegar, EVOO, agave nectar, and lime juice in NutriBullet or blender.
- Top lettuce with black bean mixture, quinoa, feta cheese, and vinaigrette & toss to coat.
The quinoa and black bean mixture can even be prepared ahead of time and chilled, which is a nice option if you need to quickly throw dinner together.
In this salad you have the sweetness of the vinaigrette, the creaminess of the avocado, the earthiness of the quinoa, and the saltiness of the feta cheese all alongside the crisp crunchiness of the salad itself. It’s so satisfying! Let me know if you give it a try.
What is your favorite summer salad recipe?