This quinoa black bean salad with lime cilantro dressing is light, fresh, filling and full of zesty flavor. A perfect summer meal! You guys know I’m always raving about how much I like summer food. I’m about to do it again.
Yesterday afternoon I whipped up a batch of this salad. I know people are always whipping up this and that, and sometimes what they’re whipping up takes an hour and 17 steps.
But seriously, I whipped this up. Cooked a little batch of quinoa. Chopped a few veggies. Let my food processor make a lovely dressing for me. Got out some beans I’d already cooked (you could also open a can). Tossed it all together. It was fun and no-stress to put together. But my favorite part is the flavor. Fresh and summery, with the quinoa and black beans playing it cool and mellow against the tomatoes, peppers, onions and especially the zesty cilantro lime dressing.
Classic flavors, natural ingredients, just doing their thing beautifully. All I had to do was get them together. Niiiiice. Once I started eating, I literally couldn’t put my fork down.
So yesterday evening, post salad, Graeme and I had a wild idea, the kind of fly by the seat of your pants-ness that makes summer awesome. At 7, 7:30-ish we decided to dig this pair of old bikes out of the garage. 25 year old pink women’s touring bikes, so you get a good visual. Mom and I rode them when I was a kid.
They haven’t been used in forever. Their tires are flat and the gears are acting weird and only the front brakes work very well and they screech like banshees. But we were able to tool them around the backyard and that was massively fun, so…
Off to Big Lots in search of a tire pump. We didn’t find a tire pump but wisely bought a can of Fix-a-Flat, and a kiddie pool pump because we’re on crack.
At 8 we had them on the road, racing at speeds of probably 4 miles an hour around the neighborhood. Screeching brakes, wonky gears and all. It. Was. So. Fun. First time either of us have ridden more than 100 yards in years. As we were cruising along this salad popped into my mind. I felt fresh and light and delicious, breezing along on my rickety ancient bike, just like the salad I’d been savoring earlier. Summer, when no-big-deal fun and food rules. I love it!
I think mom and I will take the bikes for a spin today. Woo-hoo!!!
Eat Healthy Eat Happy
This light yet filling quinoa and black bean salad is tossed with a zesty lime cilantro dressing. It's a perfect summer lunch or dinner.
15 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
45 minTotal Time
- 1/2 c quinoa, cooked according to package
- 1 1/2 c (or 1 can, rinsed and drained) cooked black beans
- 2 large Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1 medium onion, any color, chopped
- 1/2 a bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 - 1 mildish hot pepper like jalapeno, poblano or serrano, seeded and chopped (optional)
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, lightly packed
- Lime Cilantro Dressing:
- about 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, lightly packed (some stems are fine too)
- 3-4 cloves garlic (use 4 if they're small)
- about 1/4 slice fresh ginger root, peeled
- 2 Tbs maple syrup
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- zest of 1 lime
- juice of 2 limes
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Start the quinoa. You can chop the veggies and make the dressing while it cooks. When it's done, set it aside to cool.
- To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor or powerful blender and puree. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while the machine's on, or add it a little at a time. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
- Combine the quinoa and all the other salad ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle the dressing over and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate to chill. Top with extra cilantro leaves for fanciness.
Are you getting up to any antics this summer?
Remember, we’re never too old for antics. The older the better maybe.