lemony quinoa, pea & white bean salad

This grain salad has quickly become one of our favorites. Its quick to throw together with pantry and freezer ingredients, and it makes a wonderful side dish but the three different types of plant protein make it hearty enough for a vegetarian main dish as well. My favorite way to serve it is over a small bed of greens, with baked, marinated tempeh on the side, and Zack prefers his with some simple lemon baked salmon.

This salad would also be lovely for a potluck or party because its just as good cold or room temperature as it is warm, and because its vegan you don’t have to worry about it spoiling.

Lemony Quinoa, Pea & White Bean Salad

Serves 2-3 as a meal-sized salad, up to 4 as a side
adapted fromĀ Eating Bird Food

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed & drained
1 15-oz bag of frozen peas
1 15-oz cans of cannellini beans (or other hearty white bean), drained and rinsed
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
1-2 cups baby kale, baby spinach, or other greens, sliced

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp maple syrup
1 1/2 tbsp tahini
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1-2 tbsp water

Add rinsed and drained quinoa to 3/4 cup water, bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer, cooking for 12-15 minutes. Turn off heat and let quinoa rest for 10 minutes while you prep everything else.

Cook frozen peas according to package directions, making sure not to overcook them or they will be too mushy for the salad.

Stir or shake all of the dressing ingredients together, adding more water if the mixture seems to thick.

Add the baby greens and sliced red onion to a large salad bowl, and pour the still warm peas on top to wilt them slightly.

Pour half of the dressing over the peas, onions and greens, and toss to combine. Add the quinoa, making sure to break up any clumps and finally add the cannellini beans and the rest of the dressing, tossing to combine.

Serve over more baby greens if desired, with your favorite protein on the side.

The salad will keep in the refrigerator for 5-6 days, and is great room temperature or reheated.