A can of mixed beans (sometimes called 6 bean medley) in your cupboard is the first step in making a high fibre nutritionally dense salad. To stretch out the can and feed more mouths, add some cooked quinoa, a variety of diced veggies, dried fruit and a sprinkle of seeds.
This is one of those everything-but-the-kitchen-sink salad recipes. It has so many flavours and textures – salty from the olives, sweet from the cranberries, crunchy from the sunflower seeds or creamy from the beans.
Mixed Bean & Quinoa Salad
- small pot with lid
- measuring cups and spoons
- Cutting Board
- large spoon
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup packed fresh mint leaves minced
- 1 can 540 mL, 19 oz mixed beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup carrot grated
- 1 sweet bell pepper diced
- 1/2 cup Moroccan black olives pitted and diced
- 1/3 cup roasted sunflower seeds unsalted
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- In a small pot, bring quinoa, 1/2 teaspoon salt and water to boil over high heat; reduce heat, cover and simmer until no liquid remains and quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper and the mint until dressing looks creamy. Stir in beans, carrot, sweet bell pepper, olives, sunflower seeds, cranberries and cooked & cooled quinoa. Toss until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- If you don’t like olives, either leave them out or cut them up very fine so you only taste their subtle saltiness. I like using Moroccan olives as they taste more salty than briney.
- To cool cooked quinoa quickly, spread out the quinoa on a baking sheet and place in the fridge.
- This salad will keep all week in the fridge and transports well in a secure container.
- Anytime you make a bean and grain salad ahead of time, the seasoning and lemon juice will mellow out. Just before you serve, taste and adjust with more lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- White wine or rice vinegar can be substituted for lemon juice.