Sometimes inspiration hits and a family favorite is the result.
We used to go to a local gym for swim lessons and they had a cute little cafe at the entrance. There wasn't much that we could enjoy there - plant-based items included smoothies and a little bowl of quinoa-bean salad. But my kids didn't get to eat out much at the time (yes, we were mean parents, no hitting the fast food drive-thru on the way home!) and the fact that there was something on the menu that I was willing to order for them used to make their day. So quinoa bean salad it was! Yep, it's the little things that make us all happy.
My version is slightly different and has grown and evolved, but now that we have moved clear across the continent and a few years have passed, whenever I make this salad it brings back memories of the good old days of swim lessons and a cafe snack that we all enjoy reminiscing about. Plus it gets good reviews from the kids, which is the sign of a clear winner in our house!
I hope you enjoy this Lemon-Basil Quinoa + Bean Salad as much as we do. We like it on its own as a hearty one-bowl meal or served on a bed of romaine or baby spinach which adds a nice crunch (and an extra serving of veggies!).
This salad comes together quickly, can be served warm or cold, and is versatile enough to make a satisfying dinner and easy packed lunch for the next day. It's a crowd pleaser for kids at school or a sophisticated lunch at work.
We like to chill it for about 15 minutes after mixing just to let the flavours meld together. You can certainly enjoy it right after mixing or if you are a fan of pre-cooking for the week, this is a great one to prepare on a Sunday afternoon and tuck away for a meal that will take you zero time to prepare on a busy school night between homework and sports practice or other extracurricular activities.
Don't forget to check out the downloadable version of the recipe at the bottom of the page! Happy cooking! :)
Download a printable version of this recipe to add to your collection!