I probably eat more salads than any other type of meal. Surprised? Sometimes, and especially this time of year when the weather is cooling, I get a little caught up in the world of cooking. After all, this is a cooking blog. In reality, more than half of my non-breakfast meals are salads. They taste good and make me feel good.
The other thing I forget? Sometimes salads are cooked, and sometimes they’re loaded with fall flavors…making them perfect to eat in the later months of the year. That would be the case here.
Today’s recipe comes from Liz Pearson’s Broccoli, Love and Dark Chocolate. The publisher offered me a review copy of this book a few weeks ago. It had a bunch of my favorite things right in the title, so I pretty much had to accept.
I was pleased to find that the title is accurate. This book is all about just what it says, and more…all along those lines though. It’s not just a cookbook. Liz is a registered dietitian and devotes the first half of the book to tips on diet and physical wellness. She addresses topics ranging from superfoods to “dietary villains” to exercise and weight maintenance, all with a balanced, sensible approach that I could totally appreciate. The second half of the book is devoted to recipes that apply those concepts introduced early in the book. The fun part: every recipe comes with a life lesson. In that sense I’ve come to think of this as not so much a health book, recipe book or nutrition book, but more of a wellness book that touches on all aspects of wellness – mental and spiritual included.
The recipes themselves are healthy and enticing. Liz covers a wide array of ground and has something for just about everyone’s tastes. The next few items on my list to try include Spicy Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup and Baby Kale, Cranberry and Walnut Salad. With my readership in mind, I should mention that this is not a 100% vegan publication, though a good portion of the recipes are either vegan, vegetarian or easily adaptable.
This particular recipe was made the subject of today’s post at the suggestion of Liz herself. Once she made the recommendation I knew it was perfect. I was going for something that worked for fall, and like I said, I can be a little deficient in the salad realm. This particular salad was incredibly hearty, with quinoa and black beans, but also refreshing will fresh apples, grapes and cilantro. My husband and I loved it. If you take a look at the ingredients list you’ll see that the dressing alone has tons of flavor elements. It hits just about every region of the palate, but in perfect balance. Honestly, I’m kind of wishing I’d made a big batch of the dressing so I could put the leftovers on everything. We did end up with leftovers of the salad itself, and as Liz notes in the book, it keeps well and makes a great lunch, with the flavors mingling even more as it sits.
Oh, and the life lesson that came with this recipe: compassion. Gotta love that.
Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Apples and Red Grapes + Broccoli, Love & Dark Chocolate Review
For the Salad
- 3 cups 750 mL cooked quinoa (1 cup of uncooked quinoa makes about 3 cups cooked)
- 2 diced Gala or Fuji apples leave skin on
- 2 cups 500 mL red seedless grapes, halved
- 1/2 cup 125 mL chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 can 19 oz/540 mL black beans, no salt added, drained and rinsed
For the Dressing
- 1/4 cup 60 mL orange juice
- 3 tbsp. 45 mL extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. 5 mL freshly grated lemon peel (zest)
- 1 tbsp. 15 mL fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp. 10 mL pure maple syrup
- 2 tsp. 10 mL Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp. 10 mL cumin
- 2 tsp. 10 mL minced fresh ginger root
- 3 green onions diced (including the green part)
- 1/4 tsp. 1 mL salt
- 1/4 tsp. 1 mL freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. 1 mL dried red pepper flakes (optional)
- Cook 1 cup (250 mL) of quinoa according to package directions. Cook with low-sodium vegetable broth, instead of water, for more flavor. Set aside to cool.
- Put the chopped apples, grapes, cilantro, and black beans in a large bowl. Add the cooked quinoa.
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over the salad ingredients. Mix until thoroughly combined. Enjoy immediately or put in the fridge and enjoy later the same day or later in the week (keeps for about 3 to 4 days).