Best Summer Salads – Bean, Avocado and Quinoa

This week’s recipe inspiration contains my favourite grain, quinoa and one of the most underrated yet healthiest of all ingredients (we just don’t have enough of these in our western diets) – beans. Pack it full of some choice farm fresh and zesty ingredients and you have one of the best Summer salads ever!

Ingredients
1 cup dry quinoa , rinsed
1 cup water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice (or combine the 2)
1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar (wine or rice wine vinegar also ok)
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey (optional)
1 small clove garlic , minced (or sprinkle in some garlic powder)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 – 2 red capsicum , seeded and chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 – 1/2 bunch Spring onions , chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup freshly chopped coriander (use parsley too if you like)
1 1/2 cups cooked black or mixed beans (or 1 can rinsed and drained)
1 – 2 Avocado and 1 Mango (if these are out of season, use some feta in place of these 2)

Method
To cook the quinoa in a pot, combine the quinoa and boiling water in the pot and cook om medium to low (like rice) until the water is gone and the quinoa is light and fluffy.
While the quinoa is cooking, stir together the olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, cumin, cayenne, and salt in a bowl and set it aside. This is also a great time to chop the capsicum, red onion, onions, coriander and fruit while you wait for the quinoa to finish cooking.

When the quinoa is ready, stir in the dressing, pepper, red onion, green onions, and black beans, and toss well to make sure the dressing is evenly distributed. These should help to cool the quinoa even more, then stir in the coriander/parsley. While the salad is still warm, the flavors might be a little strong, but they will mellow as the salad cools down in the fridge.Chill it for at least an hour before serving for best flavor. Add the cheese or fruits just before serving too. This salad should keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Thank you to Megan Gilmore for this recipe.

Have a super week ahead and happy local farms eating.