Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

I'm not gonna lie: I don't love quinoa. It has taken me a while to find quinoa recipes that I actually enjoy enough to eat. I hear people rave about quinoa as a great source of protein, but this is simply not true. Black beans are a larger source of protein than quinoa, and both are predominately carbs.

But I don't want to undersell this recipe. The cumin and lime add yumminess to the otherwise mild flavors of quinoa and beans. The tomatoes add an element of freshness. This dish can be a simple meal in itself...I usually serve it alongside a meat entree.

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

¼ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 cups halved cherry tomatoes

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

It is very important to rinse the uncooked quinoa thoroughly in a sieve with running water. Skipping this step will result in the quinoa tasting soapy. Not good. After rinsing, add the quinoa to a medium saucepan with two cups water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and cover, stirring occasionally. Cook until all water is absorbed, about 10-13 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, cumin, sea salt, and red pepper flakes. Add cooked quinoa and toss to combine. Add tomatoes, black beans and cilantro.

Serve immediately and refrigerate any leftovers.