Quinoa, beans and fresh herbs bowl

Quinoa, beans and fresh herbs bowl

This is Victoria Day weekend, which is a holiday in Canada.  It is also the weekend when gardeners in our region traditionally plant warm weather seedlings, like tomatoes.  This means that summer is on the horizon!  And with summer comes a change in our eating habits:  we usually eat lighter food, with more vegetables.

This vegan (and gluten-free) salad fits the bill for light eating.  It is filling and satisfying, and tastes best at room temperature.  Pretty much all of the ingredients can be grown at home, too, including the quinoa.  It is our go-to summer lunch, and is a perfect picnic meal.  Here comes summer!

Quinoa, beans and fresh herbs bowl
Recipe type: Vegan, gluten-free
  • 1⅓ cups quinoa
  • 2⅔ cups cold water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 cup of your favorite beans, canned or cooked, and well rinsed (red kidney beans, chickpeas, ..., your choice!)
  • ½ lb green beans
  • ½ cup dried tomatoes or 1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1 large zucchini, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 mini cucumbers, diced (approximately 1 cup worth)
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped basil
  • 1½ tablespoons oil
  • 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ tablespoon white wine vinegar
  1. Rinse the quinoa well. If using dried tomatoes, re-hydrate them in a small bowl of lukewarm water.
  2. Slice the shallots lengthwise. Heat ½ tablespoon of oil in a pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the shallots. Cook, stirring often, until the shallots are caramelized, about 3-5 min.
  3. Add the quinoa to the pot and stir well to coat the quinoa with the oil. Add the water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the water is absorbed, about 15 min.
  4. In the meantime, in a pan, cook the zucchini in ½ tablespoon of oil for about 2 min before adding the chopped garlic. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Cook another 2 minutes until the zucchini is golden brown. Reserve. Boil the green beans about 8 minutes, then cool them in cold water and cut them in bite size pieces.
  5. When the quinoa is cooked (all water should be absorbed), fluff with a fork and add salt and pepper, to taste. Let cool (spread onto a baking sheet to speed up cooling).
  6. In a large bowl, whisk the remaining olive oil with the lemon juice and the vinegar. Combine all ingredients and mix well.


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