Black Bean + Quinoa Summer Salad.

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I am definitely not trying to become a food blogger. And truthfully, these recipes might never be made in another kitchen because I rarely measure ingredients so my advice is based on a loose system, which I am sure is infuriating for some people! After enough time cooking you become comfortable with the freedom of throwing ingredients together. This salad is a staple in our house because it’s so delicious, especially with the jalapeño dressing and you can add all kinds of fun toppings.

Black Bean + Quinoa Salad
Spruced up with cherry tomatoes, homegrown chives, locally harvested arugula, watermelon radish, hummus and goat cheese. Fresh + citrusy with a plethora of flavors.

Ingredients:
2-3 cups cooked quinoa
1-2 cups cooked black beans
2-3 bell peppers (assorted colors)
1/2 red onion
2 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno
2-4 limes
olive oil
ground cumin
maple syrup
ground flax seeds
salt + pepper

Optional Toppings:
toasted pumpkin seeds
thinly sliced radishes
chopped arugula or spinach
farm fresh eggs
avocado
chopped cilantro
hummus
goat cheese

Directions:
1. Cook beans and quinoa.
Beans: I used dried beans, typically soaking them a day or two before cooking on the stovetop. Everyone has their own method for this madness, I am all about simplicity. While it may lack in complexity, I cover beans in lots of water or broth, add salt + bay leaves, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. I leave the beans simmering until water has mostly cooked away. Finally, drain in mesh strainer and rinse, removing bay leaves.
Quinoa: Measure a 2:1 ratio (two parts water, one part quinoa), always remember to rinse your grains in a fine mesh strainer before cooking. Add water + quinoa to a pot, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Before water has steamed away add a splash of olive oil + salt. When water has evaporated, cover quinoa and let sit for 5-10 minutes, this makes the grains nice and fluffy.

2. Chop onions + peppers
Chop onions first, place in bowl, and squeeze fresh lime juice on the top and mix. Let onions + lime juice sit and chop peppers. Add peppers to bowl with onions, mix it all up!

3. Make dressing
In a food processor, add garlic cloves + jalapeño (cut in half + remove seeds… unless you love that extra kick). Pulse in food processor until chopped finely. Add approximately* 1/3-1/2 cup of olive oil, couple teaspoons of ground cumin, teaspoon of salt, 2-3 teaspoons flax seeds, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1/4(ish) cup lime juice. Blend thoroughly.

4. Add desired toppings. Choose your own adventure!

*Again, keep in mind these are rough estimates. Some people want a sweeter dressing, some a little more spicy, so start slowly with ingredients, sample, and then add as necessary.