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Summer Recipe: 3 Bean & Quinoa Salad

Summer Recipe: 3 Bean & Quinoa Salad

Sumptuous Summer Selections
It looks as though summer will be sticking around for a while, so I thought I’d do my part to encourage it to stay.  Soon we will be moving into Fall and transitioning from summer salads and iced drinks to simmering stews and steaming cups of tea.  So let’s make the most of this late summer and enjoy all it has to offer until we start to cozy up in our warm sweaters.  As this is a networking blog and a health and wellness blog, my contribution this month will be to nourish our busy brains and bodies so that we are ready to take on the entrepreneurial world with gusto!

Here is one of my favourite summer recipes, enjoy!

3 Bean and Quinoa Salad
1/2 can each chick peas, navy beans and red kidney beans rinsed and drained
1 package of cherry tomatoes cut in half
1/2 large cucumber cut into quarters
1/4 small red onion thinly sliced
1/4 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
pinch of natural brown sugar
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions: Cook quinoa (same proportions as for cooking rice), allow to cool.  Mix salad ingredients together in a large bowl, add quinoa.  Chill.  Mix in dressing just before serving.  Serves 4

Health Info:
Legumes are an excellent source of fiber which helps maintain proper digestive health, lowers cholesterol and balances blood sugar levels.  They are also a great source of low fat protein.  Soaking legumes over night or rinsing them well will break down some of the gas forming proteins.

Tomatoes are a rich source of vitamin C and vitamin A, as well as the potent antioxidant lycopene which has been shown to be protective against several types of cancer (although cooked tomatoes are a better source than raw tomatoes).

Quinoa is a whole grain that is high in fiber, which helps to lower cholesterol and balance blood sugar levels.  It is also a source of iron and a complete protein, making it a great choice for vegetarians.

Parsley makes a great garnish but is also a carminative which means that it helps to relieve gas: very necessary in a 3 bean salad!

Olive oil is a great source of mono-unsaturated fat which helps to lower LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol), prevent the oxidization of cholesterol (it is oxidized cholesterol that sticks to the walls of arteries and forms plaques) and to raise HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol).  Olive oil is a potent anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer food, as it is rich in antioxidants.

This salad makes a great meal on its own, but also pairs nicely with chicken or fish dishes.  Enjoy these last few days of summer and check out my Facebook page in the “Notes” section for some recipes that will ease you slowly into the fall season!