Introduction: Quinoa Three-Bean Salad

About: I love to spend time in the kitchen to relax and feed those I love with great eats and treats.

While trying to incorporate more grains into my family's diet I find a great way to do that is to simply add grains to foods we already enjoy. Three-bean salad is a delicious sweet-tart side for many meals and adding quinoa makes it substantial enough for a tasty gluten free lunch dish, or served with dinner.

I used green and wax beans from our local farmers market and added kidney beans, I've also made this salad with garbanzo beans and cucumbers, feel free to use what you prefer.

This salad is best made at least 8 hours in advance, and can be kept covered and refrigerated up to 3 days, bring to room temperature about 30 minutes before serving.

Serves 8-10 

Step 1: Gather Ingredients

You'll need:

1 cup water
1/2 cup quinoa
8 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths 
8 ounces yellow wax beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths 
1 (14-15.5 oz.) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 stalk celery heart plus 1 stalk celery heart with leaves, finely chopped
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. fresh oregano, finely chopped (or 1/2 tsp. dried oregano)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Step 2: Cook Quinoa and Beans

Bring water and quinoa to boil in small saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 10-12 minutes until water is absorbed. Turn off heat and leave covered saucepan on the burner for 4 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow the quinoa to cool. 

In a large saucepan bring 3 quarts water to boil and add 1 Tbsp. salt. Add green and wax beans and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Plunge the beans into ice water and allow to cool for 2 minutes before draining, or run under the coldest tap water until cool, drain well. 

Step 3: Prepare Dressing, Assemble Salad, and Enjoy

In a microwave-safe cup, microwave red wine vinegar and sugar for 1 minute on high until sugar dissolves, add oil, salt, and pepper and mix well. 

In a large bowl combine dressing, red onion, celery, celery leaves, oregano, drained beans, cooked beans, and quinoa. Mix until combined, refrigerate at least 8 hours, bring to room temperature (about 30 minutes) before serving.


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