Chimichurri Quinoa and Bean Salad

Quinoa and beans are staples in our house and in our restaurant, and for good reason: They’re incredibly nutritious, providing fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Quinoa is a complete protein and one of the oldest grains known. It’s gluten-free and has an interesting nutty flavor. This special grain originated in the Andes, and thanks to the Incas it has been shared with much of the world. This favorite recipe, based on the traditional Argentinian sauce chimichurri, is generally served alongside meats. Serve it as an entree or as a side to a veggie burger for a delicious meal.

Ingredients

  • Salt
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 bunch Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons fresh oregano, or 1 tablespoon dried
  • ¼-½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about ½ lemon)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice (from about ½ orange)
  • 1 cup grapeseed oil, dairy-free mayonnaise, or other mayonnaise
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 12-ounce can organic black beans, drained
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 small sweet organic onion, diced
  • 12 sweet grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large broccoli crown, florets separated into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon organic flax oil with lemon (optional; available at natural food stores)

Method

  1. Bring 2 cups of lightly salted water to a boil in a medium covered pot over high heat. Reduce the heat to low-medium and add the quinoa. Cover and cook at a simmer for about 25 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is just tender.
  2. Turn the quinoa into a large bowl, and using two forks, toss the quinoa to fluff it and to separate the grains. Set aside to cool, occasionally tossing the quinoa to facilitate cooling.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the chimichurri. Place the garlic, cilantro, parsley, oregano, pepper flakes, jalapeño, vinegar, lemon and orange juices, oil or mayonnaise, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Cover and process for about 30 seconds until well blended. Taste for seasonings.
  4. When the quinoa is cooled to room temperature, add the beans, carrot, onion, tomatoes, and broccoli; add the flax oil, if using. Using two wooden spoons, toss to combine. Add the chimichurri and toss well to coat. Taste for seasonings. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate for up to 2 days. Toss again before serving.

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