This salad takes Quinoa, a plant based complete protein, and pairs it with protein rich legumes and zesty Lime and Cayenne Pepper to create a tangy dish. Quinoa is one of those perfectly lovely foods created by nature. It has a pleasing texture and takes on the flavors of anything it is paired with. Even better, Quinoa is a crucial plant sourced complete protein for vegetarians as it contains all essential amino acids. Quinoa is a plant seed with the qualities of a grain. Originally made popular in Incan culture a long time ago, Quinoa is customarily grown in the Andes mountains to this day.
Yield: About 6 Cups
1 Cup Quinoa
2 Cups Water
1 Can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 10 oz Bag Organic Edamame, thawed*
3/4 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, cut into halves
1/4 Cup Parsley, finely chopped
2 Organic Limes, Juice and Zest*
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
Freshly Ground Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
*Organic is important for Edamame so you can avoid GMO soybeans. A product labeled as “Organic” in the U.S. cannot be genetically modified. Organic is also important when using citrus zest to avoid pesticide residues.
1. Rinse Quinoa in cold water several times before cooking in fresh water.
2. In a medium sized pot bring lightly salted Water and Quinoa to a boil.
3. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover. Stir occasionally and ensure Quinoa is not sticking. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until Quinoa is just becoming transparent and has a thin white band around the middle.
4. Dump cooked Quinoa into a fine mesh strainer, place the strainer over the pot, and allow it to drain and cool. Often no water will drain off the Quinoa, but allowing it to cool from all sides will keep the Quinoa from clumping together and getting goopy. As the Quinoa cools, occasionally fluff it with a fork. Allow to cool and rest for about 15 minutes.
5. Once mostly cooled, dump Quinoa into a large bowl and add Black Beans, Edamame, Cherry Tomatoes and Parsley.
6. In a small bowl whisk together (or shake together in a Ball jar) Lime Juice and Zest, Olive Oil, Cayenne Pepper and Sea Salt. Taste and add salt if needed. Pour Lime Dressing over the top of the Quinoa and toss together. Add Sea Salt and Black Pepper, if needed, to taste.
7. Serve fresh or refrigerate and serve later. Enjoy!