Vegan Make-Ahead Meal: Quinoa Salad with Black Beans

quinoa salad phoro

Photo: Jess Root
Vegan punk chef Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Quinoa Salad with Black Beans merits following the recipe 100%. It's that good. But, in getting more improvisational and thrifty thanks to inspiration from Kelly, the meatless meal ended up just as tasty and a dash more seasonal.

Make a big bowl ahead of time this weekend and it enjoy for lunch/dinner the rest of the week.The original recipe that calls for mangoes and red bell pepper can be viewed here on the Portland Mercury. My seasonal twist, using what was already in the fridge and cupboard, went like this:

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans
Yields 4-6 servings, depending on hunger levels. :)

2 local peaches (instead of mango), diced small
2 cobs of kennelled local sweet corn (instead of red bell pepper)
1 cup chopped spring onions
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil (instead of grape seed oil)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups cooked organic, fair trade quinoa, cooled
1 1/2 cups black beans, drained and rinsed (a 15-ounce can. I like Eden organic, BPA-free canned variety.)
a few leaves of local lettuce for plating

1. Mix together everything in a bowl -- except for the quinoa and black beans -- to evenly coat and salt the veggies and fruit with oil.
2. Mix in the quinoa and then fold in the black beans.
3. Plate over lettuce, spritz with lime and serve at room temp or chill overnight for lunch/dinner the next day. If the salad moves fast, double the recipe to yield more.

For a more filling meal and an added salty crunch, serve with organic tortilla chips and a sliver of organic avocado. Pair with a local white wine or beer. ;)

The local peaches lent to the sweetness the mango otherwise adds, and the corn, the crunch, to replace the red bell pepper. I didn't have cilantro on hand but I didn't miss it, which brings me to my new mantra inside -- and outside -- the kitchen: think in unlimited, expanding ways. It tastes good and can inadvertently make a recipe more seasonally-inspired.

More Vegetarian Recipes:
7 Cheap and Easy Vegetarian Meals
Weekday Vegetarian: 45 Recipes for Chinese New Year
10 Cold Vegetarian Soup Recipes For Summer's Hottest Days (Slideshow)

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