The Best Salad Without Lettuce You’ll Ever Eat ~ Rachel

Have you ever tried quinoa? If not…well, you should.  Here are some health facts about quinoa which I’ve decided is a super food…they actually call it the mother grain:

  • Complete protein because it contains a balanced set of essential amino acids…it’s high in lysine, methionine and cystine…this is rare among plant foods
  • Contains an average of 16.2% protein compared to 7.5% in rice, 9.9% in millet and 14% for some wheat…some varieties of quinoa are more than 20% protein
  • Gluten-free
  • Good source of dietary fiber and phosphorous
  • High in manganese, magnesium and iron

A friend of mine (thanks, Kristen!) told me about a quinoa salad that she makes and I knew I had to try it out. The original recipe can be found here but I think my directions (and small adjustments) make it easier to follow and even better to eat. This is the best non-lettuce salad I’ve ever had!

Black Bean & Tomato Quinoa

I got a new camera & am still trying to figure it out...this is not my best work!

  1. Cook 1 cup of quinoa according to the instructions. Once it’s cooked, rinse it under cold water using a tiny-holed colander or a sieve of some sort. Dump into a big bowl. The first time I made this, I used regular quinoa. The second time I made this, I used red quinoa. Try experimenting with different types. I haven’t noticed huge differences between the types but I think I might like the red more than the regular.
  2. Drain and rinse a can of black beans and add to the big bowl of quinoa.
  3. Chop up a bunch of cilantro (about 1/4 cup), 2 medium tomatoes and slice a bunch of green onions and add to the big bowl of quinoa and black beans. Mix everything together.
  4. In a separate small bowl, melt 2 Tbsp of unsalted butter and let cool.
  5. To the butter, add 2 tsp lime zest, 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice, 1 Tbsp vegetable oil, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and mix well.
  6. Pour the dressing over the big bowl of quinoa salad and mix well.
  7. You may want to add salt and pepper to taste when you go to eat it.

This makes a TON of salad….if you break it into 3 servings, it’s 12 points plus per serving. If you break i into 4 servings, it’s  9 points plus per serving. Supplement your salad with a lean protein ( I bet this is awesome with salmon) for a great dinner or just have some fruit with it for lunch.

Though I do love the salad as is, I think I might try and kick it up a notch next time. Instead of green onion, I think red onion might be good. I just have to figure out what kind of spices to add. Maybe a hint of cayenne?

4 generous servings @ 9 points+ each

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  • Shelley B  On April 26, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    I am a big fan of quinoa – this salad looks great and I’ll have to try it!

  • biz319  On April 27, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Love the new layout Rachel! I love quinoa – but would probably add some diced chipotle pepper to kick it up a notch – a little of that goes a long way.


  • Kristen  On April 27, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    It’s so good! I use prerinsed quinoa, then you just toss everything together when it is done.

  • Nikki J  On May 12, 2011 at 8:25 am

    I like the idea of the chipotle pepper. You could also add a bit of cumin. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Satu  On August 8, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Thanks for the recipe, Rachel. I’ve been collecting black bean recipes and this looks great!

    I came over from Biz’s site. 🙂

    • Rachel Palmieri  On August 8, 2011 at 1:43 pm

      Welcome, Satu!

  • Easy Detox Diet  On October 22, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    I totally agree that we need some easy detox diet to detoxify our entire body. Detox Diet reflects healthy body and mind!

    Samantha Marion


  • […] I will subsist on eggs, nuts, chicken, fruits, veggies and quinoa. My favorite salad recipe, Black Bean & Tomato Quinoa Salad, will work into this plan just fine…I just have to leave out the butter and make my black […]

  • By Detox Diet, Days 2 & 3 ~ Rachel « Losing It! on August 11, 2011 at 9:47 am

    […] it ever nice to not be in the kitchen! Breakfast was a spinach and goat cheese omelet, lunch was Black Bean & Tomato Quinoa Salad and snacks during the day consisted of nectarines and hard boiled eggs. I never got around to the […]

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