Since I've started this food blog I've found that I'm constantly tempted to try to stage exotic and elaborate dishes when it comes to planning meals, but this temptation often comes crashing with a resounding thud against the scheduling demands of modern life. But I take comfort — not pleasure, mind you, that would be mean — in the fact that there's lots of other people like me who often need just to make a nourishing dinner without too much fuss and bother. And so I'd like to think that some of my simpler and less fancy dishes are just what a lot of you like to see.
Fortunately it's easy to sustain yourself on simple fare without losing flavour, and this kidney bean and quinoa salad packed with good carbohydrates and proteins meets those requirements. You can make this as a side dish for a more elaborate luncheon or dinner, but it makes a terrific no-fuss supper on its own when time is at a premium.
Kidney bean and quinoa salad
1 cup dried red kidney beans
3/4 cup quinoa
1 clove garlic, crushed or minced
1 cup fresh or defrosted frozen corn
1 celery stalk, diced
3 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup fresh coriander, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice
Rinse the kidney beans and soak overnight covered in several inches of water in a medium saucepan, with a little yogurt whey or lemon juiced added. Scrub the quinoa under cold running water, and soak in 1 1/2 cups water in a separate medium saucepan.
Bring the kidney beans to a boil, then reduce to low, add the garlic, and cover. Cook gently for 1 hour or until the beans are tender but not falling apart. Drain and transfer to a large bowl and toss with the corn, celery, jalapeños, vinegar, salt, pepper and cumin.
Meanwhile, bring the quinoa to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to low and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the water is completely absorbed. Fluff with a fork and set aside until the beans have finished.
Transfer the quinoa to the salad bowl and add the coriander, olive oil and lime juice. Toss gently, and serve warm or chilled.