Sunday, September 17, 2006

Black Bean Quinoa Salad with Basil-Lemon Dressing

This is probably the most nutritious thing I have ever eaten in my life. If you are lacking in nutrients and trying to eat healthier, this is your meal.

When I first saw the recipe in the pages of Cooking Light, I thought it sounded pretty gross. "What is this? Lima beans? Tofu? And quinoa?" I asked myself. "Gross." But it kept being highly reviewed and recommended to me, so I gave in.

I am glad that I did, because it was really good. Granted, you do have to like the components to really enjoy it. Luckily, I do like them so I enjoyed my dinner. I will take this to lunch this week since it tastes best when chilled.

My changes: I used a little bit of dried basil instead of the cup of fresh, and used some edamame (green soy beans) instead of lima beans. I loved the edamame in this dish. I highly recommend everyone make this change.

Black Bean Quinoa Salad with Basil-Lemon Dressing
Cooking Light, March 2006
Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain. Edamame makes a tasty substitute for lima beans in this recipe. For an attractive presentation, serve the salad on a bed of baby greens or spinach.

1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
3 cups organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson Certified Organic)
1 (14-ounce) package reduced-fat firm tofu, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
1 cup chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (10-ounce) package frozen baby lima beans
4 cups chopped tomato (about 3 medium)
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

Combine quinoa and vegetable broth in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until broth is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Remove from heat.

Place tofu on several layers of paper towels; cover with additional paper towels. Let stand 5 minutes. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sauté tofu 9 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from heat; cool completely.

Combine remaining 2 tablespoons oil, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, basil, and next 6 ingredients (through garlic) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk until blended. Stir in quinoa.

Cook lima beans according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Cool completely. Add the lima beans, tofu, chopped tomato, green onions, chopped carrot, and black beans to quinoa mixture; stir gently to combine. Store, covered, in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Yield: 10 servings

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