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Healthy Side Dish: Quinoa & Black Bean Salad

Looking for a healthy summer side dish? This quinoa and black bean salad is the perfect fit.

It's one of the world's most popular health foods. Quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein, fiber, antioxidants and key minerals like iron and magnesium. The whole grain also has a low glycemic index. I love cooking a batch of it for meal prep so I can add different ingredients to it during the week to mix things up. But this recipe is my absolute favorite! It adds in more protein and fiber from the black beans, more vitamins and antioxidants from the peppers and delicious flavor from cumin, lime juice and cilantro.

This gluten-free recipe is packed with protein, fiber, antioxidants and amazing flavor!


  • 2 cups dry quinoa, rinsed

  • 4 cups water

  • 1/3 cup lime juice

  • 1 tbsp. cumin

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • 1/3 cup olive oil (EVOO)

  • 2 cans (15 oz.) low sodium black beans

  • 4 tsp. apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 medium orange bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 cup of mixed frozen vegetables, cooked (I use a carrot, string bean, peas and corn mix)

  • 1/3 cup of chopped fresh cilantro


  • In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil over high heat.

  • Add quinoa and reduce heat to medium low. Cook covered for 12-15 minutes, until water is absorbed.

  • Place quinoa in a large bowl and let cool for 15 minutes.

  • While quinoa is cooking, start the dressing by whisking together the lime juice, cumin and salt in a small bowl. Slowly add in the olive oil.

  • In a separate bowl combine the beans (drained and rinsed), vinegar and black pepper.

  • Add the bell peppers, mixed vegetables, cilantro, bean mixture and dressing to the quinoa. Enjoy!

This dish can be enjoyed at room temperature or cold and stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. I use it as a side dish or even on top of my favorite salad. Let me know how it comes out below!

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