Tag Archives: quinoa salad

Quinoa Black Bean Lettuce Wraps

Red Quinoa Black Bean Lettuce Wraps

If my little garden was any bigger than it is now, I would be in a heap of trouble.  I try my best to plant vegetables such as lettuce, spinach and chard in various stages so they all don’t mature at once.  It’s called succession planting.  Succession planting is a method of utilizing space and time.  No matter how much effort that I put into planning my garden it seems like there are times when certain vegetables really get away from me.  Today, my problem is lettuce.  And I sure do have lots of it…

The problem with lettuce is that you can generally only eat it fresh.  You can’t freeze it.  And, you can’t can it.  I guess technically, you could, but why?  And once the warm weather hits, it bolts. And once it bolts, it’s bitter.  Fortunately, what I don’t use, I give away to family, friends and coworkers.

Today, I went out and picked a bunch of romaine lettuce, red radishes and parsley from my garden for my Quinoa Black Bean Lettuce Wraps.  My Quinoa Black Bean Lettuce Wraps are easy to make, fresh tasting and vegan too.  The lettuce wraps are made with cooked Red Quinoa, black beans, chopped red onions, little grape tomatoes, cilantro, parsley, radishes, with a bright tasting red wine vinaigrette wrapped up in a lettuce leaf.  It’s a great side dish or by itself for light lunch or dinner.  I’m thinking that these also would make interesting appetizers to serve at my next backyard barbeque.  Makes about 16 wraps.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1/2 cup red quinoa (picked over and rinsed well)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes (I used red grape)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/3 cup roasted red bell pepper (diced)
  • juice of one lime
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 1/2 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbs maple syrup
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp seasoning salt or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper or to taste
  • 16 lettuce leaves (I used young romaine, but bibb lettuce is probably best)
  • Garnish with lime wedges, thin sliced radishes and sprigs of parsley

Begin by cooking your quinoa and water in a covered saucepan on medium low for about 15-20 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat and let cool completely.  In a medium bowl add quinoa, black beans, onion, tomato, cilantro, parsley and roasted red bell pepper.  Mix well.  In a separate bowl whisk together the lime juice, coriander, cumin, red wine vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Add vinaigrette to quinoa mixture.  Mix well to coat.  Chill for about a half an hour and serve spooned on top of lettuce leaves.   Garnish with lime wedges, thinly sliced radishes and fresh picked parsley.  Makes about 16 lettuce wraps.

Red Quinoa Salad

Red Quinoa Salad

I love it when I make a dish that my husband Bruce has never tasted or even seen before in his life.  My Red Quinoa Salad is one of those dishes… Last night when I put a bowl of my Red Quinoa Salad next to the grilled chicken that I made him for dinner, he stopped what he was doing, looked down, looked at me and said in a stern voice “Okay, what is this Tess? And, wait, are those zucchinis?  You know I hate zucchini!”.   I looked at him with a big smirk and said, “No, it’s not zucchini silly, it’s cucumber, and before you ask any more questions, the salad is red quinoa with kalamata olives and feta.  You’ve had quinoa before, it’s good for you and I think you will like the salad”.  He looked back at me in silence….  As my sister would say, all you could hear was “crickets”.  And I gotta tell you that I was right.  Bruce liked it!  He ate the whole bowl and then he wanted more…

For those who do not know, quinoa is a type of edible seed that originated in the Andes of South America.  Quinoa is pronounced “keen-wah” and not “key-nowah” like I first thought…  It comes in a couple of varieties including red and black.  I enjoy making quinoa because it is so quick to prepare, easy and versatile.  You can serve it hot or cold and it can be ready in a matter of about 20 – 25 minutes.  Next time you see quinoa at the market, snag some.  I think you’ll like it.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 cup red quinoa (rinsed well in cold water and drained)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup cucumber (diced)
  • 1 cup red tomato (diced)
  • 1/2 cup red onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup parsley (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinaigrette (make mine, you will love it!)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup crumbed feta cheese for garnish (optional)
  • parsley sprig for garnish

Begin by cooking the quinoa in a covered saucepan on medium heat until it boils.  Turn on low and let cook another 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Meanwhile chop all your vegetables and make the Red Wine Vinaigrette.  When quinoa is cool add all ingredients except feta cheese to a mixing bowl and toss well.  Cover and refrigerate for about an hour.   Taste and correct your seasonings.  When ready to serve, sprinkle top of salad with “optional” feta cheese and garnish with parsley.  Serves 4.