Bring Meatless Monday to the rest of your week with this light, flavorful southwestern quinoa black bean salad.

Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Black Beans


3/4 cup quinoa (rinsed if needed, check the package)
1 1/2 cups water
salt (1/2 tsp.)
1 red bell pepper (chopped into small dice)
1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
1/2 cup green onion (thinly sliced)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 lime juice (t fresh-squeezed)
seasoning (1 tsp. Spike, optional but highly recommended)
ground cumin (1 tsp.)
1/2 tsp ancho chile pepper (ground, or use regular chile powder if you don’t have ancho)
black pepper (fresh ground, to taste)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


Check the label to see if your quinoa has to be rinsed and rinse if needed,  Then combine the quinoa and water with a little salt and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and let it cool while you prep other ingredients. Drain one can of black beans into a colander, rinse until no more foam appears, and let them drain until they are dry. Chop up a red bell pepper into small pieces (about the same size as the black beans). Thinly slice the green onions. Stir together the lime juice, Spike seasoning, ground cumin, ground Ancho chile pepper, and black pepper and then whisk in the olive oil to make the dressing. When the quinoa is fairly cool, stir together the quinoa, diced red pepper, black beans, and sliced green onions so they are well combined. Then stir in enough of the dressing so all the ingredients are moistened.  (Save any extra dressing to add after the salad has been refrigerated.) Gently stir in the chopped cilantro and serve.