Recipe: Quinoa Kale Salad with Black Beans and Cranberries

We've all been there: You finish a workout close to dinnertime, you're hungry and you know that if you can't pull together a healthy dinner fast, you're gonna end up at a drive-thru window or with a hand in the cookie jar (possibly even two hands in the cookie jar).

Keep some cooked quinoa readily available for these occasions. And if you don't have any cooked quinoa handy, throw some on the stovetop or in a rice cooker, so you can have it ready by the time you've showered and gotten into your comfy post-workout pants.

This salad has everything you need after a training session: complete proteins, antioxidants, healthy fats, complex carbs and even a hint of the sweet stuff to make you smile. And, most of the ingredients are interchangeable for other items you might have on hand. Some sufficient substitutions are noted on the ingredient list.

More: Easy Post-Workout Snacks That Aid Recovery

If you've got the time, pair this salad with some baked fish (it works especially well with tilapia) to get some omega-3s. If you don't have time to even think about turning on the oven, sprinkle some hemp seeds on top for the beneficial fatty acids.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (or garbanzo beans)
  • 1 cup tightly packed baby kale leaves (or spinach)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or dried goji berries)
  • 1/2 cup pepitas (or sunflower seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon ume plum vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

More: Savory Shitake Bowl with Kale and Brown Rice Recipe

Instructions

Cook the quinoa: Add the quinoa and 3 1/2 cups of water to a medium saucepan over a high heat. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, and set aside for 5 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork.

If you have already-cooked quinoa available, warm it in the microwave or on the stove. Add the beans, greens, dried berries and dried seeds, and lightly toss.

In a separate bowl, mix together the ume plum vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil. Pour the liquid mixture over the quinoa mixture and mix together. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4 to 6

More: Santa Fe Sweet Potato Recipe

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