With summer coming, I'm always trying to come up with ideas for dinners that are easy to put together, and don't involve cooking on the stove. I created this recipe for a variation on a classic 3-bean salad, and it fits the bill perfectly.
April is Earth Month, so we're always trying to be aware of our environmental impact, but it's especially important in California, where we're heading into the fifth year of severe drought, so everyone is trying to cut back on their water use. One surprising way you can reduce is by cutting back on your meat consumption. Did you know it takes nearly 2,000 gallons of water to get 1 lb. of beef to market? You might not think of it, but it takes a massive amount of water to bring meat to your local grocer.
If we're going to eat meatless, we still need to get lots of protein into our bodies, especially Max, because growing bodies need as much as they can get. This salad is packed with goodness and loaded with protein, both the beans and the quinoa give you lots of protein.
I've been doing a lot of my grocery shopping lately at Smart & Final; it's less crazymaking than the members-only warehouse store, and I can pick up everything I need from fresh produce to paper products and bakery items. They have recently been working on expanding their organic offerings, and their Sun Harvest brand is high quality and delicious. (Well, the complete Sun Harvest line includes household things like dish soap and toilet paper; I haven't taste tested those, and I don't recommend you do, either!)
I love the dressing on this salad; even Jamie, who isn't normally a balsamic fan, said that it was delicious and that we should definitely buy it again. It gives a nice bright kick to the more subtle flavors of the quinoa and beans, so it all comes together beautifully.
Serves: 6 servings
- 1.5 c. Sun Harvest Organic Red & White Quinoa
- 15 oz. can Organic Garbanzo Beans
- 15 oz. can Organic Black Beans
- 15 oz. can Organic Kidney Beans
- 15 oz. can Sweet Corn
- 12 oz. bottle Sun Harvest Citrus Balsamic Salad Dressing
- Chopped parsley
- Prepare quinoa according to package directions, place in refrigerator to cool (overnight if possible)
- Open beans and corn, drain and rinse well
- Add dressing to taste
- Garnish with parsley
I made a big double batch of this for Max's birthday party, and everyone, even the kids, ate it up. I also think it gets more delicious as the day goes on, so if you're making it for a party or something, do it early in the day or the day before if you can.
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