I feel like I need to make a confession: I don’t like salads. Yes, I am quite possibly the one vegan in the entire world who refuses to consider a salad a legitimate meal.
I feel like I need to clarify, though. The salads I’m talking about are the ones that are 90% lettuce and 10% everything else. I love arugula. I love crunchy butter lettuce. And I will tolerate romaine. But most other lettuces leave me wanting more. Like, a lot more.
That said, I love salads that are 90% beans, grains, veggies, fruit, and maybe 10% lettuce. Or 0% lettuce. Really, the best salads have no lettuce.
In that spirit, I want to introduce you to my favorite summer salad. It’s got black beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, pineapples, and quinoa. It’s insanely delicious. And not a piece of lettuce in sight.
Black Bean and Pineapple Quinoa Salad
3/4 cup dried black beans plus water to cook (or 2 14oz can of black beans)
1/2 cup quinoa plus water to cook
1 cup cucumber, peeled and chopped (about 1 small-medium cucumber)
1 cup pineapple, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup sweet pepper (any color), chopped
1 carrot, peeled and grated (optional, but worth it)
1 Tbs lime juice
2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
optional: avocado chunks, cilantro
If you’re making your black beans from scratch, this step will have to be done first. And early. Either the night before or morning of. It takes about 2hrs to cook black beans but in my opinion, they taste better. I usually put them on the stove first thing in the morning, leave them for awhile, and eventually turn the heat off. You can also use an instapot or rice cooker.
Or you can get canned beans and be fine.
Samesies with the quinoa. It takes about 15 minutes to cook quinoa. Do it first thing or while you’re throwing the ingredients together.
Once the everything is ready, combine the veggies and fruits in a large bowl, with the quinoa and rice. Add in the lime, cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir that baby up.
You can serve warm or you can put it in the fridge to cool off a bit and let the flavors combine. Either way is tasty.
Add toppings if you want to get fancy (avocado, cilantro, whatever else rocks your salad world. Yes, even lettuce)