{Today’s Lunchbox} Skipping Day 5 with A Recipe: Black Bean Quinoa Herb Salad

by Valerie on September 10, 2011 · 3 comments

Brown Bag Challenge

This month I am participating in the Brown-Bag Challenge where the Food Network’s Healthy Eats blog is teaming up with fellow food bloggers to host a month-long initiative to eat consciously and save money by packing a lunch each weekday instead of eating out. You can join here and share what you’re eating on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #brownbag.

lunchbox 015

It is Saturday morning and I am catching up on my week, or at least starting to.  I was not at the office Thursday, so I thought I would share instead a lunchbox from a few weeks ago that includes a recipe for Black Bean Quinoa Herb Salad, as well as a Super Quick Green Smoothie, and romaine and red peppers.  I love quinoa salads with beans, but with this recipe I changed the ratio of beans and quinoa to be more beans, less quinoa, I liked the texture it provided.

Black Bean Quinoa Herb Salad (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Soy-Free, Nut-Free, Oil-Free) – Makes 2-4 servings, depending on whether you serve the salad as a side or a main course.

Note that if you use basil in this recipe and pack it as a lunchbox, the basil will bruise a bit. It will still taste delicious. Parsley, cilantro and basil are all good alternatives.  Use one or two or all three, or experiment with other fresh herbs. I love the interaction of lime juice and salt in this recipe – it is tangy yet refreshing and a nice reminder of summer.  

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 11/2 to 2 cups of black beans (I cooked mine in the rice cooker) , or 1 15oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed (for canned, Eden is a great brand)
  • 3 Tbsps freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions (white and green parts)
  • 1/4 cup tightly packed herbs of your choice (I like a mixture of cilantro and basil)

Cook quinoa according to package directions (I use a rice cooker, add one cup water and the quinoa, and cook on the quick setting, then let steam for an additional 5-10 minutes)

Combine quinoa with black beans, lime juice and salt. Fold in scallions.  Chop herbs of your choice while you let the salad cool a few minutes.  Fold into salad.  Serve at room temperature or chilled.  Prior to serving taste for seasoning and add additional lime juice or salt, if desired.

I am submitting this recipe to the following blog events:


This is my submission to this month’s No Croutons Required which has as garden-grown theme. As you know from my past participation in this event, every month a different ingredient is chosen and participants must submit a vegetarian soup or salad, and this month it should be including ingredients grown in your garden.  Lisa of Lisa’s Kitchen  and Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes take turns hosting the event. This month, Lisa is hosting.  Now I do not have a garden on account of living in a tiny apartment, but I could have some potted herb plants (maybe next year) and make this salad with the bounty from my apartment garden.  In the meantime, the herbs I used came from my local farmer’s market.


This is also my submission for this month’s My Legume Love Affair, created by Susan of the Well Seasoned Cook and hosted this month by What Would Cathy Eat. 


A Vegan Lunchbox for Adults Blog Challenge, hosted by Jen of the RA Vegan – you all know by now I am a huge proponent of packing your lunch as an adult. It helps those of us with multiple food intolerances, but also just generally in terms of having home-prepared food.


Wellness Weekend, hosted by Ricki of Diet, Desserts and Dogs. The concept behind Wellness Weekends (now a year-round event!) is “any good-for-you, whole foods, especially those with antioxidant properties or “functional foods” (ie, offering naturally medicinal or health-promoting qualities–such as garlic, coconut oil, all vegetables, fruits, herbs, etc.).”  Here there herbs and black beans and quinoa –need I say more? 


A blog event hosted by Flip Cookbook called Sugar Free Sunday, which includes sweet and savory dishes made with non-refined sugars.

seasonal sunday

Seasonal Sunday, a blog event hosted by Brittany of Real Sustenance. Here the seasonal ingredients are the herbs.


Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays


Gluten-Free Wednesday at the Gluten-Free Homemaker

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gena September 13, 2011 at 10:41 am

Yum. Tasty quinoa salad!


2 vintagemom September 14, 2011 at 2:42 pm

This looks delicious! Would you be interested in posting a link at my new link party featuring allergy-friendly lunchbox ideas? The party goes live on Friday morning at http://allergyfreecookery.blogspot.com. Hope to see you there!

Lisa @ Allergy Free Vintage Cookery


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