Spice Things Up Quinoa & Black Bean Salad with Cilantro Pesto

Vegan, gluten-free

This salad is build around a spicy cilantro pesto recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Lorna Sass’ Complete Vegetarian Kitchen. Thank you, Lorna, for the many tasty meals you have contributed to since I bought this book in 1999! Find her book here: http://lornasass.com/cookbooks/complete-vegetarian-kitchen It is a valuable kitchen resource for tasty and wholesome vegan meal ideas, or for a primer on how to cook beans or grains, or how to assemble an awesome salad, every time.

  • 1 batch Cilantro Pesto (recipe below)
  • 1 can black beans (Eden is BPA-free) or 2 cups cooked black beans (about 1 cup soaked and simmered)
  • 1 cup raw quinoa, cooked in 2 cups water
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 stalk broccoli, cut into bite size florets/pieces and steamed
  • sprouts if you have some on hand
  • avocado if you have some on hand
  • whatever other veggie you are inspired to add

Cook quinoa in 2 cups of water with a bit of salt. While quinoa is cooking, chop veggies and put into salad bowl, leaving the avocado aside. Make the pesto. Remember that quinoa cooks faster than rice and take it off the heat when it is done (about 15-20 minutes)! Letting it sit with the lid on for a few minutes helps make it fluffy. Combine all ingredients (except avocado) and toss. Add avocado to individual bowls.

Serve warm for a 1-bowl week-night dinner, and pack up leftovers for a delicious – if garlicky – lunch.

“Coriander Pesto”

From Lorna Sass’ Complete Vegetarian Kitchen

Cilantro is not only delicious, and cleanse-friendly, it also supports detoxification as it nourishes.

Note from Lorna: Great served over plain boiled beans or grains, or on bean and grain salads.

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice, approximately
  • 1 cup tightly packed minced fresh cilantro (coriander)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts or sunflower seeds, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove minced fresh garlic (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp mild chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  1. In a food processor or jar, combine all the ingredients.
  2. Use immediately or store in a well-sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  3. Makes 1/3 cup