Quinoa Black Bean Salad
2 cups water
1 cup multi-colored quinoa
2 cups frozen, chopped kale
1 cup thinly sliced baby carrots
16 oz can of no salt, no sugar added black beans, rinsed well and drained completely of all water
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground cardamom
1-3 tsp honey (optional; use desired amount of sweetness if using; if making for just the family, I omit; if making for company, I use 2 tsp)
- In a medium saucepan, pour the water and add the quinoa. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the quinoa has plumped, is showing white rings, and has absorbed all the water. This will take anywhere from five to 15 minutes, depending on how vigorously you are simmering the water. I find that it’s helpful to stir the quinoa every so often.
- Once the water is absorbed, remove the pan from the heat, cover the quinoa and let it sit. You want the quinoa to be completely dry before you mix it with other ingredients. This can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on how much of the water was actually absorbed into the quinoa before you removed it from the heat. When it’s completely dry, you will be able to fluff the quinoa with a fork. If the quinoa clumps together when you try to stir it, then it’s still a bit damp.
- While the quinoa is drying, thinly slice baby carrots to make a cup. You can use regular sized peeled carrots but then you’ll want to cut the thin slices in half because you are only cooking the carrots a short amount of time in the microwave with the kale, and you don’t want the carrots to be hard. Once you have a cup’s worth chopped, put it aside for the moment.
- Put 2 cups of frozen, chopped kale into a microwave safe bowl. Follow the instructions for cooking, only halfway during the cooking time, remove the bowl, stir the kale and add the cup of chopped carrots. Finish cooking the kale in the microwave.
- Add the kale, carrots and black beans to the quinoa and mix well.
- In a measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, cinnamon and cumin and honey, if using.
- Drizzle the dressing onto the quinoa salad and use a spoon to incorporate the dressing into the quinoa salad.
- Salad can be served warm or cold. Can store in the fridge for a long time.