Sunday, July 14, 2013

Summer White Bean and Quinoa Salad

White Bean and Quinoa Salad in white ramekin, overhead view

Fresh tomatoes and cucumbers flavor this protein-rich vegan main course dish

By the time midsummer heat rolls around, I’m craving light and fresh dishes.  And I’m in luck, because right now in the US we’re enjoying an abundance of locally grown vegetables (including some from our own backyards).  Tomatoes and cucumbers are my favorites — for a few short weeks in summer, their flavors are at a peak.  With the hot weather we typically face at this time of the year, they’re about all I want to eat.

But of course we need a bit more than that, so it’s time for main-course bean and/or grain salads loaded up with ripe summer veggies.  Today’s salad is really a meal in itself, although you may want to add some bread — and if you’re feeling indulgent, a nice glass of wine. 

You’ll probably have some leftovers, which will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days.  Pack them in small containers, and you can brown bag them in lunches for the next day.

So this recipe gives you a terrific-tasting, exceptionally healthy main-course salad.  And you can enjoy it again for lunch the next day.  Totally keen — or is that quin?



Recipe:  Summer White Bean and Quinoa Salad

You can easily change this recipe around to suit your own taste.  I often substitute ingredients (instead of white beans I use lima beans, for example, or maybe even pintos).  I also alter quantities depending on what I have on hand — and what kind of flavor profile I’m drawn to on that particular day.  So even though I provide specific ingredients and quantities, consider this more a template than a recipe, and use it to create your own dish.  (But if you’ve never made this type of salad before, it’s a good idea to make it more or less as-is the first time through so you get an intuitive idea of how these salads work.)

IMO you want the flavor and fragrance of fresh herbs in this dish.  I include parsley, which tends to be welcome in almost any salad.  I also include fresh dill, partly because its flavor works in this recipe, and partly because I have an abundance growing in my garden right now.  But feel free to substitute any fresh herb that appeals to you (fresh thyme, for example, combines beautifully with beans). 

If you don’t have access to fresh herbs, dried ones make an acceptable substitute.  But their flavor is concentrated, so use much less.  When substituting dried herbs for fresh, I usually start with about a quarter of the amount called for in the recipe (sometimes a bit less).  It’s easy enough to taste the salad and add more if necessary (but impossible to remove dried herbs once they’re mixed in).

Prep time for this salad is 20 to 30 minutes.  You can serve it immediately (it’s good at room temperature) or let it chill for an hour or so. 

This recipe makes enough for at least 4 hearty main-course servings.  Leftovers keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 2 or 3 days (they’re safe to eat after that, but the flavor deteriorates).

Ingredients
  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup of water for cooking the quinoa
  • 2 cans of white beans, drained and rinsed (or ½ pound dried white beans, soaked and cooked; see Notes)
  • a couple handfuls of grape or cherry tomatoes (about 1 container; or use whole tomatoes and cut into chunks)
  • 1 or 2 cucumbers (to taste)
  • ~½ red onion, diced (to taste; a bit more than ½ cup is my taste)
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons parsley (to taste)
  • ~2 tablespoons dill (to taste)
  • ~5 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (very approximate — you need to rely on your own taste for this)
  • ~2 tablespoons lemon juice or wine vinegar (if using wine vinegar, perhaps a bit less)
  • salt to taste (a good teaspoon of kosher salt for me)
  • black pepper to taste (freshly ground only, please; a good couple of healthy pinches for me)
  • garnish of dill or parsley leaves (optional)
Procedure
  1. The quinoa takes 10 to 15 minutes to cook, so start with that first.  Cook ½ cup of quinoa according to package instructions.  Generally, you use twice as much water as quinoa (so 1 cup of water in this case) and cook until all the water is absorbed.  You can salt the cooking water or not, as you prefer.  Once the quinoa is cooked, if you’re not ready to add it to the salad yet, set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, open the cans of beans, drain, and rinse (I usually dump the beans into a strainer over the sink to make this easier).  Add the beans to a medium or large bowl (large enough to hold the finished salad).
  3. Wash the tomatoes.  If using grape or cherry tomatoes, I usually cut in them half (although you can keep them whole, if you prefer).  If using larger tomatoes, I always cut into chunks (and try to lose some of the seeds and watery pulp along the way — these don’t add anything to the salad).  Add the tomatoes to the beans.
  4. Peel the cucumbers.  Cut in half lengthwise, and using a dessert spoon, scoop out the seeds.  Then cut the cucumber halves into a shape that pleases you — half moons, for example.  For this salad, I usually cut the cuke halves lengthwise in pieces a bit larger than a quarter-inch, then cut crosswise into dice.  Add the cucumbers to the beans and tomatoes.
  5. Peel the onion and cut into dice of about ¼-inch.  I typically use about ½ an onion (maybe ½ cup), but use as much as tastes good to you.  Add the onion to the bowl with the beans and other ingredients.
  6. Wash and dry the parsley.  Pick off the leaves (discarding the stems) and mince.  Add the parsley to the bowl with the beans and other ingredients.
  7. Wash, dry, and mince the dill.  Add to the bowl with the beans and other ingredients.
  8. The quinoa should be cooked by this time.  Let it cool a bit (more or less to room temperature, although a bit warmer is OK; you can toss with a fork to help cool it), then add the quinoa to the bowl with the beans and other ingredients.
  9. Toss all the ingredients together to mix, then start adding the extra virgin olive oil.  Don’t add it all at once!  You really don’t know how much you’re going to need.  I usually start with about 3 tablespoons, toss with the ingredients, then taste.  And only then do I add more if necessary.  How to tell if you have enough?  You want a thin – THIN – coat of olive oil on everything in the bowl, but when you take a bite, you should taste ingredients first, olive oil second.
  10. When you’ve added sufficient olive oil, add the lemon juice or wine vinegar.  Again, start with about half of what you think you’ll need, taste, and add more if necessary.
  11. Add salt and pepper to taste, and toss to incorporate.  (Alternatively, you can add these after you’ve added the oil and before you add the lemon juice.)
  12. Taste, adjust seasoning if necessary, and serve.  A garnish of dill or parsley leaves is a nice touch.
White Bean and Quinoa Salad on plate, with fork and napkin

Notes
  • You can use any kind of white bean that you like in this salad.  I generally use Great Northerns because they’re available, usually of decent quality, and inexpensive.  Cannellini beans make an excellent substitute.  I like navy beans a bit less in this salad, but they’ll work too.
  • The recipe specifies canned beans because they’re easy to use and take less time than cooking your own dried beans.  I actually prefer to cook the beans myself when I’m making this salad, but you have to plan ahead.  So I often cook up a pound or two of beans and store them in the refrigerator, for use in recipes.  They freeze well too — just freeze them in some of their cooking liquid.
  • Almost any kind of dried beans will work in this recipe.  Kidney beans work quite well, as do black-eyed peas.
  • You can also substitute almost any grain for quinoa.  Rice is an obvious choice, as is a small pasta shape, like orzo.  But there’s a whole world of grains out there, including barley, bulgur, and wild rice — almost any of them will work.
  • I like the combo of beans and grain in this salad, but you could use just one or the other if you prefer.  In that case, you’ll need to adjust quantities.
  • We used to think that we had to consume beans along with a grain at the same meal in order to get the benefit of a “complete” protein.  Today, most scientists have concluded eating them together isn’t necessary.  I like to combine them simply because they taste so good together! 
  • Quinoa has become deservedly popular over the past decade because it’s highly nutritional and gluten free (it isn’t a true cereal grain because it isn’t part of the grass family; rather, it belongs to the chenopod family, a pseudocereal).  Quinoa has more fat than most cereals, including small amounts of omega-3 fatty acid.
  • Because of its popularity, demand for quinoa has exploded — as has its price.  Alas, the price probably won’t drop anytime soon.  In a recent Washington Post article, Lydia DePillis explains that quinoa will likely remain in short supply because although the world’s major producers (Peru and Bolivia) are increasing output, demand is growing even faster. And though quinoa can be grown in North America, the market isn’t yet large enough to tempt farmers to plant it here — especially since it can be a difficult crop to cultivate. Bummer.
White Bean and Quinoa Salad in white ramekin, with fork and napkin

Summer Says Salad!

“I love hearty summer salads!” exclaimed Mrs. Kitchen Riffs as she forked her White Bean and Quinoa Salad.

“Me too,” I agreed.  “And there are so many different ones out there.”

“Yeah,” said Mrs K R between bites.  “Like that terrific Pasta, Bean, and Tuna Salad you made earlier this year.”

“That is a good one,” I agreed. “It’s basically a traditional Tuna Pasta Salad combined with a classic Italian White Bean and Tuna Salad.”

“Then there’s that great Edamame and Bean Salad you sometimes make,” mused Mrs K R. “Not to mention your Summer Pasta Salad — the one that’s a take on Bert Greene’s famous ziti salad.”

“That’s another really a good one,” I agreed. “And when it comes to main-course salads, maybe the best of them all is Salade Niçoise. It’s such a terrific combo of French Potato Salad, green beans, tomatoes, lettuce, and tuna. Of course BLT Salad is awfully good too, as is its close cousin, Chicken, Lettuce, and Mayonnaise Salad.”

“Yup,” said Mrs K R. “And of course we often have a wonderful Caesar Salad as a main course. Or the ever-popular Chef's Salad.”

“So which one do you like best?” I inquired.

“Why this one, of course!” said Mrs K R. Then, slowly and carefully, as if explaining it to a slow child, she added. “It’s the one in front of me!”

Can’t beat that logic.

You may also enjoy reading about:
Pasta, Bean, and Tuna Salad
Tuna Pasta Salad
Edamame and Bean Salad
White Bean and Tuna Salad
Chef's Salad
Salade Niçoise
Salade Frisée aux Lardons
Caesar Salad
Summer Pasta Salad
BLT Salad
Chicken, Lettuce, and Mayonnaise Salad
Roast Strawberry Salad
Potato Salad Basics
French Potato Salad

110 comments:

  1. I good salad such as your white bean and quinoa salad is always a must in my family, especially when we organize our bbq and grilling sessions. The best part in your recipe is that it's healthy and nutritious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Helene, this really is a tasty and healthy salad - a pretty typical dish for us for a summer meal. Thanks for your comment.

      Delete
  2. I love a good hearty salad too, anytime of the year. Love dipping a crusty bread in olive oil-lemon juice.
    I have been wanting to try Salad Nicose for a while as well. Because that looks so good too!

    If you ever shop in a Middle Eastern market, buy some sumac. Its lemony flavor goes very well with salads like this. You might like it! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ilke, I really need to get some sumac! It has a great flavor, but it's not something I usually keep on hand. I should change that - great suggestion on your part. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  3. This IS a wonderful summer salad, and a different way to eat quinoa too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Paula, I so love hearty summer salads! And quinoa works so well in this one. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  4. In the summer I can't get enough salad. It's what I want for every meal.

    Now that it's winter and it's cold (ish) salads aren't top on the list, preferring more hearty fare.

    I'll save this because living up north, summer comes early. (the fun of being upside down.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Maureen, it sounds lovely to be upside down! ;-) This salad is really terrific in warm weather - you'll enjoy it. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  5. Great salad! I LOVE quinoa, and always love trying new recipes with it. This one is a keeper for sure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kristi, quinoa works so well in salads, doesn't it? Truly a versatile food! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. Hi Kiran, yummy on a plate indeed! Perfect description. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  7. This is how I imagina a perfect summery salad !
    Really beautiful

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sketched Chef, it's really a great salad! Flavorful and healthy. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  8. This is a nice high protein and nutrient rich dish. Great for an entree or even side dish. Lucky you - I wish we had a garden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Vicki, our garden isn't huge, but we really like it - so nice to get fresh veggies and herbs. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  9. A hearty Salad as your's is a refreshing working lunch for me in a hot and busy summer day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Amrita, I love to eat this leftover salad for lunch. Maybe even breakfast! ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  10. I love adding quinoa to my salads as you know. I think it bulks everything up nicely without making it too heavy. I am happy to see red onions in the salad because I love them but not many people add onions to their salads lately.
    Wonderful salad John, I like the beans too. Thanks!

    Nazneen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nazneen, I love the flavor of quinoa! And there's so much you can do with it. And I like onions, and really, really like them in salads like this. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  11. I love salads like these that are hardy enough to keep in the fridge for days. Makes for a nice, quick lunch or a great side to any dinner entree.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Carolyn, I always make too much of this salad simply because it keeps so well, and I can use it for lunch. Really a great recipe. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  12. Oh John, this looks and sounds delicious! I can just feel the summer freshness in your photographs! Great recipe, thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lizzy, these really is such a tasty salad! And it goes so well at this time of the year. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  13. Howdy John , can't stop drooling , love quinoa and the red onion in salads is always the 'cats' meow' . What a wonderful lite side dish with dinner ... or maybe you can just have the salad {passing my plate}. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nee, (fills up plate) I like this salad as the entire meal! But it does make a super side dish, too. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  14. These are my favorite sorts of dinners in the summer as well. With all the heat, it's so nice to have a refreshing and flavorful salad like this one! I love quinoa and white beans, so this is a winner in my books:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Barbara, glad this appeals to you! It really is awfully tasty. And white beans and quinoa work so well together! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  15. Looks fantastic, I could eat a bowl of that right now. I love beans in salad and the addition of quinoa is something I will have to try, thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lizzie, it's really worth adding quinoa to beans - they make a super combo. Plus with all these summer flavors, this is a wonderful dish! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  16. That's a perfect vegan salad for summer!!! I can have the whole plate. I never tried Quinoa with beans, I should try it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shibi, quinoa and beans makes a nice match - similar to rice and beans. And this really is a nice, healthy salad. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  17. This is my kind of summer salad - flavorful, healthy, light-enough, but also hearty-enough. One of the reasons I love the summer, despite its unbearable heat, is the produce. The flavors for so many vegetables and fruits are at their peak. I can see me and my family eating this salad any day of the week. Great recipe John!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gomo, I'm with you on summer veggies! So much flavor, and so abundant. That's why I love salads like this - an easy and complete meal. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  18. I love versatile recipes like this one where you can use pretty much whatever you have on hand. Haven't cooked much with quinoa, but I do have some in the pantry. Just picked my first cucumber, have some pinto beans in the fridge and yellow tomatoes on the countertop. I think I'm there! Thanks for sharing this great summer salad!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi MJ, I think you're there too! ;-) This really is one of those "recipes" that turn out better if you adapt to what you have on hand (and feel like eating). Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  19. I love this salad, nice and light for the hot summer days. Sounds perfect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dawn, it really is perfect for summer! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  20. Great flavor combo - I bet those creamy white beans and fresh tomaotes just soak up all the flavors and taste even better the next day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alyssa, this salad really does gain a bit of flavor overnight, although it's wonderful when freshly made. Beans go so well in most things, don't they? Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  21. That looks bright and summery. I am still trying to adjust to the flavour of quinoa. It always seems a little bitter to me and it certainly is expensive but rice works well so that would be my choice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Suzanne, I know what you mean about a slight bitterness with quinoa, but I'm OK with it (and you don't notice it in this salad; or at least I don't). It is awfully expensive, though, compared to rice, and that works quite well in this recipe. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  22. I've noticed the beans in your salads...I need to try that John. Not that I've never had them but I don't think I've EVER made one with them.

    This looks tasty and it gorgeous to boot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Barb, I love beans in salads and soups - tons of flavor, and pretty healthy too! Definitely worth trying, IMO. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  23. I love quinoa and white bean so when they are in a salad with such lovely flavours and colours, it is a big plus :D

    Cheers
    CCU

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Uru, this salad has your name on it! Really pretty, as you say, and so delish. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  24. We have lots of salad suppers around here in the summer too, but often tire of the usual rotation. Thanks for giving me a new one to add to the list. Here in Colorado we are still waiting for our tomatoes to ripen. I was hoping for some from the farmers' market but even our local one was postponed for a week. I'll have to be patient. Beautiful recipe and photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Karen, we're seeing local tomatoes, but at the moment the cherry and grape tomatoes have the best flavor, IMO. My backyard tomatoes are still a few weeks away, alas - I got them in rather late this year. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  25. Quinoa is everywhere. I love it. I also love salads that you can "brown bag" the rest of the week (or most of it, anyway). Great recipe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Debra, quinoa is pretty trendy, isn't it? But it's such good stuff! And I really like meals that make a lot of lunch-worthy leftovers too. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  26. Salad is popular in hot summer days, but I get excited when I see nutritious salad like this because we lose appetite and rely on good salad meal. Thanks for sharing John!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nami, this really is an exceptionally tasty (and healthy) salad. It's the type of thing we eat often at this time of the year. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  27. This is so perfect and refreshing for these hot summer days where I have no appetite. Light salads is the way to go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Natalie, this is a particularly nice salad! And once you start eating it, you may discover you had more appetite than you thought. ;-)

      Delete
  28. This salad might need to happen this week with how hot it is here!! My oven shall not be turned on anytime soon :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ashley, it's been extremely hot here, too! Perfect salad weather. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  29. Love the flavor of quinoa in salads and the red onion. Summer salad at its best. Healthy and delicious. Thanks for this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lail, I'm a real fan of red onions - love the flavor, and the color is so nice. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  30. This does sound like a great salad, John, especially for those torrid days looming in our not so distant future. I would definitely split the tomatoes, no matter their size. I find the tomato juices add so much to an oil & vinegar-based dressing. Coincidentally, while I was reading your post, a television show featured a quinoa salad with white beans. Though the ingredients varied, the results were the same: a healthy, nutritious salad ready in minutes. Thanks for sharing another great recipe that's sure to grace a number of tables this Summer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi John, this sort of salad is so wonderful in summer! And tomatoes make anything better! Quinoa and beans combine so well, so I'm sure there are numerous salads that pair the two (I guess quinoa is one of the new "IT" foods at the moment, isn't it?). Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  31. Quinoa salads are my favorite light dinners. I also love the abundance of produce right now. Just picked up some locally grown cucumbers, tomatoes, and parsley. In the summer, the produce is so good, sometimes it's almost unbelievable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Laura, we really do get spoiled with summer produce, don't we? Too bad in a way, because there's so much of it we don't get to eat as much of every variety as I'd like. But it's a good problem to have! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  32. Wonderful salad John! I adore quinoa and white beans, but I've never eaten them together. I'm not sure why, as just looking at this salad makes me want to try the combination! I love the simplicity of the dressing. That's all you need when you have such gorgeous produce! Thanks for the inspiration! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Laura, the two combine beautifully - well worth trying. And with salads like these, simple usually work the best. At least for me. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  33. Quinoa is certainly popular right now and it makes the best salads. This looks very good and certainly right for your hot weather xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Charlie, quinoa really is rather popular, isn't it? It deserves to be, but sometimes it's funny how certain ingredients take off in terms of popularity. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  34. This salad looks great John...I like the idea of combining quinoa and creamy white beans with the veggies...very tasty and refreshing at the same time...perfect for the summer.
    Have a great week :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Juliana, the quinoa and beans really are a tasty combo, and their textures work well together. And with the veggies, wonderful for summer! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  35. Ah, what a lovely summer salad idea! I love the quinoa and white bean combination. I'm having a grill-out this weekend and could easily imagine making this recipe...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Irina, this salad is good served either at room temperature or chilled, so it would be perfect at a cookout! And of course it makes great use of summer veggies. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  36. What a beautiful looking salad, it looks so hearty and delicious! Perfect for side dishes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Christine, it's really tasty! This sort of dish is some of our favorite summer fare. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  37. John, this is such a pretty salad! And you photographed it beautifully. Well done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anne, I agree this is such a pretty dish - that's one of the nice things about summer veggies, they all look so great! Thanks for the kind words, and comment.

      Delete
  38. A perfect summer salad! Really healthy and tasty. A wonderful combination of ingredients.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rosa, this really a a nice, healthy dish. And great flavor! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  39. I love to have that for lunch, since I am on a diet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi cquek, this makes a terrific lunch! We always have it for dinner, then have the leftovers the next day (or two). Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  40. You know I love white beans. And you know I love quinoa. So, I know you know that I love this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Abbe, of course I knew you'd love this! Who doesn't love white beans and quinoa? ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  41. That is the beauty of summer -- we harvest all the delicious veggies. This is such a colorful and loads of goodies salad. I wouldn't mind having seconds, John. Thanks! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ray, it's hard not to have second with this! I love summer veggies. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  42. Before I forget, thanks for the tip on freezing the beans. I have tried it several times and they don't seem to freeze well unless I have leftover bean soup. Now I know the reason why, liquid!

    As for that salad, I must admit, I don't usually join the latest food "fads" however, I for one am delighted to see more Quinoa available (although now it looks like it will once again become scarce) I discovered Quinoa a long time ago as a "hippie" cook. Problem was I could only find it in a health food store.

    This salad is just so versatile. I think I would love to try it with Cannellini!

    Stay cool and thanks for sharing, John...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Louise, freezing beans in liquid really makes a difference. Quinoa was largely unknown (and hard to find) for years, but now it's everywhere. Deservedly so, because it has great flavor and a wonderful nutritional profile. Staying cool has been a problem lately (it's hot!) but we're trying. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  43. I just love your posts. They're so entertaining! Even better, you provide lots of alternatives to your basic recipe. Love it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kristi, this is one of those recipes that I never make exactly the same way twice. ;-) Glad you enjoy the posts - thanks for your kind words, and comment.

      Delete
  44. Oh, I'm definitely feeling the light and refreshing meals these summer days. Thanks for sharing, John! It's good to take a break with your equally refreshing posts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ala, light food rules during the summer! Well, a bit lighter at any rate - BBQ rules, too. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  45. Oh yes, I do love hearty salads and this one with beans and grains sounds divine. I really appreciate all you share with each of your recipes - I'm always learning something new!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Hannah, we cook a lot of dried beans in the winter (frequently in soup), but they're wonderful in the summer, too - maybe even better, because we do feel like eater lighter, and they make a great alternative to meat. Thanks for the kind words, and comment.

      Delete
  46. Your Quinoa Salad is so gorgeous. I love healthy salad using fresh and seasonal ingredients like this. It's the best and I always feel great after eating "clean"! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Amy, I don't eat as clean as I should, but it does feel good, doesn't it? Particularly with a great salad like this one! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  47. Looks so light and refreshing perfect for these hot summer days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bam, it's really a fun salad. The question is whether those teenage boys of yours would like it. If they would, you'd probably have to double the recipe! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  48. My favorite salad this time of year is made with cucumber and tomatoes. I love the addition of quinoa which I also love. Beautiful and delicious post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bill, we love a tomato and cucumber salad too! In fact this salad came about because we were trying to figure out how to make a main course salad out of tomatoes and cukes. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  49. Quinoa is one of my favorite. Such a wholesome, healthy and light meal. Love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Asmita, I love quinoa too! And this salad is totally delish. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  50. Hi John, another appetizing salad, look really good and refreshing. I love anything with cucumber and tomatoes and they are the best pairing. Nice plating.

    Best regards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Amelia, I really love cucumber and tomato too - one of my favorite summer salads. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  51. Love the salad idea,although the cucumber is out because of indigestion. Everyone should really try other grains than just the quinoa, try cous-cous for example. I know its trendy to use the quinoa, but its wreaking havoc on the diets people of Peru and Bolivia. So much quinoa is being diverted to other countries the indigenous people who have consumed quinoa for centuries can't afford to buy it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Pete, good points! And any grain Although if you read the Washington Post article I linked to, you'll note that Peru and Bolivia have greatly increased (and are continuing to increase) their quinoa production, and its popularity has enabled them to charge higher export prices, helping their economies. Still, there are loads of other grains out there that people don't use enough. Couscous is a great one, although its gluten content causes problems for some people. Barley gets my vote for a great tasting ingredient that's totally underused. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  52. A salad exactly to my taste! I just started growing some parsley in my garden, and I have a few bags of quinoa at home. Perfect timing :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Yvonne, home grown parsley is the best! Such a fresh taste. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  53. I am with you. When it is hot outside, you can't beat a salad. Your quinoa and white bean salad is amazing with all those layers of flavor. I am all out of quinoa now but I bookmarking this to try as soon as I get some

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sawsan, this is one of those salads that you can make with any grain, although quinoa has great flavor, and such healthy properties. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  54. I could eat salads like this for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. It looks so good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chris, this really is a nice salad. And I've actually had leftover for breakfast! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  55. Don't know how I came across this recipe, but thank you! It keeps well in the fridge and is wonderful to take in the RV. And yes, I have eaten it for breakfast also!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anna, isn't this a great dish? I think I'll make it for dinner tonight! And then for breakfast the next morning. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete