Quinoa cucumber mint salad with black beans and serrano pepper


“There’s mosquitoes on the river Fish are rising up like birds
It’s been hot for seven weeks now,
Too hot to even speak now, Did you hear what I just heard?”

Well maybe not yet seven weeks, but it has been many weeks now of daily temps over 90F, and with the 4th of July and Fare Thee Well concert streaming potluck dinners to attend, it’s been a time to come up with easy to make and cooling, protein rich main dish salads…

ingredients:

  • 3/4 c quinoa
  • 1 can organic black beans, well rinsed
  • 2-3 medium cucumbers, thick sliced into half rounds or quarters
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 serrano pepper, diced, including seeds
  • 10-12 leaves spearmint, diced
  • 1 lime, squeezed for dressing
  • organic nonfat yogurt or feta cheese for garnish

instructions:

Rinse quinoa well, then place in 1 1/2 c fresh water with a dash of salt, bring to boil then turn heat down to simmer covered for 18-20 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with fork. Rinse beans well, chop and dice all vegetables and combine all. Dress with squeezed lime, and store in airtight container in refrigerator until ready to serve. Garnish with organic nonfat yogurt or feta cheese for additional protein.

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two hot weather salads: cucumber, mint & lemon salad with jalapeno black bean salad


Cuc & Black Bean Saladingredients:

  • 2 medium cucumbers, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 lemon, juice and pulp
  • 1/8- 1/4 cup plain yogurt, greek yogurt, or milk
  • 1 T fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 2 cans black beans, well rinsed
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, diced
  • olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing
  • feta cheese

instructions: Too hot to even think about turning on any heat source to cook? Refresh with these simple cooling main dish salads. Chop and grate first 5 ingredients. Measure yogurt or milk, squeeze lemon, and stir in chopped mint, add pepper to taste. Dress cucumber salad and refrigerate in air tight container.  Rinse canned black beans well, add next 4 chopped and diced ingredients.  Lightly dress with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, top with crumbled feta cheese.  If you’re so inclined, toast some Ezekiel pocket bread or chapati with Parmesan to use as bread crumbs on cuc salad. Serve with cold local IPA, refresh and relax.

cucumber almond coconut quinoa salad


ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds, lightly toasted
  • 1/2 cup coconut, shredded, lightly toasted
  • green onions, small bunch, finely chopped
  • 1-2 cucumbers, sliced into rounds then quartered
  • 1/2- 1 fresh lime, squeezed, include juice and pulp

instructions:

Rinse quinoa well. Bring to a boil in 1 1/2 cups fresh water with a pinch of salt, cover and  IMG_2119reduce heat to simmer.  Cook for 25 minutes until water absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with fork. Lightly toast almonds and coconut on stove top, stirring constantly; add to quinoa. Chop green onions and cucumbers, then stir all together well. Dress with squeezed lime juice and pulp. I served this chilled with baked tofu in a sunflower seed butter sauce and romaine salad.