Thursday, May 20, 2010

Summer and Salads

With the onset of 80 degree weather my thoughts turn to summer and delicious light salads. One of my favorites is Black Bean Quinoa Salad. According to the National Academy of Sciences quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom. It is grown in the Andes Mountains of South America and has been a staple of the Inca civilization with ancient origins dating back over five thousand years.

Quinoa is a complete protein with an essential amino acid balance close to the ideal set by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It can be substituted for almost any grain in almost any recipe. It’s especially tasty in soup, as a pilaf, in stuffed peppers and various salads. The handy box of organic quinoa contains a booklet of more than 10 recipes. And of course, the web provides many more.

Just in case you like experimenting with new recipes, here’s the one I referred to above.

Black Bean Quinoa Salad
1 C. quinoa, cooked in 2 c. boiling water for 15-20 minutes
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
½-1 C. cilantro, chopped
3 green onions, sliced

1/3 C lemon or lime juice
1/3 C. olive oil
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp coriander
Salt to taste
(optional: ½ tsp. chili powder)
Garnish: ¾ C. toasted pumpkin seeds. Adds great flavor

Tastes wonderful over fresh spinach
I think I’ll head to the kitchen right now.

note: image comes from

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