I fell in love with quinoa watching Oprah. She was raving on and on about how much she loved it and I just knew that when I tried it, I’d love it too. And I did. However, one short month after first eating quinoa, I moved to Japan and quinoa was nowhere to be found. I had to beg, plead and cajole my youngest sister to send me boxes of it from Trader Joe’s. It’s a good thing, that as the eldest, I’ve had years of practice of talking my younger siblings into “helping,” *cough* doing things for me. It’s also a good thing that my sister agreed to do it for a trade: quinoa for tasty Japanese treats. Totally worth it.
I’ve spent years making what feels like a million quinoa salads and I always come back to this one. Something about the chilled salad with crisp bell peppers and the zestiness of lime juice really does it for me. Add in the fact that this salad is great on it’s own for lunch and as a side for dinner, makes me a fan for life.
- 1½ cups quinoa
- 3 cups water
- 2 vegetable bouillons
- 4 tablespoons red vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ teaspoons oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ teaspoons sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cloves of garlic, diced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped green bell peppers
- 1 can black beans, rinsed
- ½ cup chopped red onion
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- Rinse the quinoa.
- Put quinoa, water and bouillon in a pot and bring to a boil.
- Cover, return to low heat and let simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove lid and fluff with fork.
- While it cooking prepare the dressing.
- I like to prepare my dressing in a mason jar so I can mix and incorporate all the ingredients.
- For the Dressing add red vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, garlic, oregano, cumin, sea salt, and pepper.
- Add dressing to cooked quinoa.
- Add: black beans, cilantro, red onion, green bell pepper and mix.
- Add: tomatoes and mix. I like to add the tomatoes last and mix so they don’t get mushy.
- Put in fridge to chill 2 hours.
Leftover Idea: I love to stuff bell peppers with this salad to make for dinner the next night. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take a bell pepper, cut in half lengthwise, pull the seeds and icky stuff out. Place it in a glass pan and fill with 1/2 cup quinoa salad. I also usually add about a tablespoon of feta cheese to each half pepper. Cover with foil and bake until tender, approximately 45 minutes for 4 bell pepper halves.