Loaded Quinoa Black Bean Salad

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Quinoa Black Bean Salad loaded up with all the good stuff is exactly what you need in order to feel nourished, satisfied, and healthy.

High Protein Vegan Salad - QUINOA BLACK BEAN SALAD

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Slowly, very slowly, I’m finding myself crawl out of hibernation. Hibernation for the holidays, winter break, and lots of lovely family time. Of course, much of that time was also spent eating foods that did not quite nourish my body in ways I feel happy about.

As I come out of this hibernation, I feel my body craving nutrients. Lots and lots of fresh foods. Veggies. Smoothies. Juices. Bowls. Whole grains.

All the good stuff.

QUINOA BLACK BEAN SALAD - VEGETARIAN & VEGAN - PLANT BASED PROTEIN

Last year, I found myself grabbing for quite a few convenience foods for the sake of, well, convenience.

I was lazy. I didn’t have the time. I didn’t feel a need.

But now here we are, feeling sluggish and like I’ve eaten convenience food for the last 6 months.

So this year, I’ve made a commitment to make more homemade dinners. I’m making the time. I’m pushing through the lazy. I’m making it happen. Not just for me, but for my family.

I actually have a really hard time cooking for my family because I’m afraid they won’t like the fresh healthy meals I want to eat. I always feel like they’re going to want a casserole or something similarly hot, saucy, and comforting.

And yeah, if they could choose, they’d eat cheesy casseroles every night of the week.

But I’m actually learning that every so often, they’re totally fine with eating a big ol’ loaded quinoa black bean salad for dinner! Even my 12 year old loves loading a salad up with all the goodies. 

QUINOA BLACK BEAN SALAD

The thing about this salad is that it’s completely customizable. I included all the ingredients that I used in my salad, but you’re welcome to pick and choose, add and subtract what you’d like to have in your quinoa black bean salad. 

Hate tomatoes (like my kiddo)? Don’t use ’em. Wish I had included a different grain? Be my guest.

But the great part is that it’s really quite simple to throw this salad together.

Easy steps for creating a quinoa black bean salad at home yourself:

  1. In a small saucepan, bring uncooked quinoa and water to a boil. Once boiling, lower to a light simmer and cover for about 20 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is light and fluffy. (Make sure to keep an eye on it, as the water will often cook out quicker than you think, leaving you with burnt quinoa that’s not cooked through properly.)
  2. In a large bowl, toss spring greens, black beans, tomatoes, bell peppers, edamame, red onion, green onions, avocado, salt & pepper together. Add in the cooked quinoa and toss again to combine.
  3. Divide among 2 large salad bowls and top with any additional toppings such as a vegan ranch, sour cream, or salsa if desired. Would also be tasty with an oil and vinegar dressing.

Again, if you’re not into any of those ingredients, swap ’em out.

Or if you’re looking for a different salad or bowl all together, let me give you a few ideas:

Copycat Cafe Rio Salad
Spiced Chickpea Kale Salad with Lemon Cashew Dressing

See, I’m all about options.

Speaking of options, I have a feeling you may have a few questions, so I’m gonna help you out here.

Can I make a bigger batch of this salad to feed a crowd?

I highly recommend it actually! It’ll be a hit at any family dinner or gathering. It’s simple too.

If you’re wanting to serve this as a side salad, I would just double or triple the ingredients. But if you’re wanting this to be a full meal salad, as this serves 2 people, I would just figure out how many you’re wanting to serve and multiply accordingly.

Can I make this quinoa black bean salad ahead of time?

Yes you definitely can! I’d make it no more than a day ahead though. As I’m sure you know, lettuce starts to get wilty and weird quickly. I would assemble all the lettuce and veggies ahead of time. And I’d make the quinoa ahead of time. But add the quinoa and black beans as well as any toppings you choose right before serving.

What dressing should I use for this salad?

This would dress nicely with an oil and vinegar or even a balsamic vinaigrette. 

But because it’s super versatile, it also pairs nicely with a vegan ranch or cilantro lime dressing.

So now that you have all the scoop, you’re ready to get in the kitchen and whip up a fresh and healthy quinoa black bean salad for yourself. 

Your body will thank you!

Loaded Quinoa Black Bean Salad

Quinoa Black Bean Salad loaded up with all the good stuff is exactly what you need in order to feel nourished, satisfied, and healthy.
Holly Waterfall
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 3-4 cups mixed spring greens
  • 1 14.5 ounce can black beans, drained & rinsd
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 bell pepper diced (any color – I used orange)
  • 1/2 cup cooked shelled edamame
  • 1/4 cup red onion diced
  • 2 green onions sliced
  • 1 avocado diced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • salsa optional for topping
  • vegan sour cream optional for topping
  • vegan ranch dressing optional for topping

Instructions

  • In a small saucepan, bring uncooked quinoa and water to a boil. Once boiling, lower to a light simmer and cover for about 20 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is light and fluffy. (Make sure to keep an eye on it, as the water will often cook out quicker than you think, leaving you with burnt quinoa that’s not cooked through properly.)
  • In a large bowl, toss remaining ingredients together. Add in the cooked quinoa and toss again to combine.
  • Divide among 2 large salad bowls and top with any additional toppings such as a vegan ranch, sour cream, or salsa if desired. Would also be tasty with an oil and vinegar dressing.

Be sure to bookmark this recipe in your browser so you can have it available whenever the craving hits!

This Loaded Quinoa Black Bean Salad leaves nothing to be desired as you're hit with flavor in every bite.

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