We are celebrating Cinco de Mayo with this delicious and nutritious red bean and quinoa salad. We absolutely love all the vibrant colors in this salad and the taste is amazing. Panos declared this salad as the best salad that he had ever had. This is a baby friendly and vegetarian recipe as well in case you want to introduce your baby to legumes and quinoa. The flavors of the beans along with quinoa and delicious produce are complimentary and the final result is so refreshing. And did I tell you that the preparation of this salad is minimal? Which is always a win.
“Mom this is delicious! It is really the best salad ever”— Panos said
What you will need
- Red beans. Personally I love soaking my dry beans overnight with some drops of lemon juice and water to reduce the phytic acid. In the morning, I drain them, wash them well and sprout them for 24-48 hours, making sure that I stir them occasionally. This way legumes are easier on the digestive system, which is important for little kids.
- Quinoa. This pseudo-grain is a dense nutrient food, based on food and agriculture organization, full of carbohydrates, rich in protein and fiber. You just need to sure that it is triple washed to avoid the saponins that quinoa contains and they could be toxic.
- Produce: cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, yellow corn, onions, avocado. Those are the vegetables that I prefer in this salad. You can keep only what you like from this list.
- Hemp seeds. For some good Omega 3 fatty acids and to boost the protein even more.
- Pantry staples: olive oil, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper
Tips and substitutions
- Make sure that all the vegetables are diced about the same size so the flavors in a bite are uniform.
- I used frozen sweet corn which I placed covered in the microwave with a little bit of water for a couple of minutes. You can use canned or fresh that you will boil.
- If you don’t have red beans on hand, you can try any other bean that you love. I would suggest black beans, black eyed beans or white beans. I have done this salad with all of them and they work equally well.
- If you don’t have the time to soak, sprout and boil your own beans, feel free to use canned beans. Just drain them and wash them well.
How I served it
Both kids loved to eat from their Bubba Boo eco-friendly bamboo plates and bowls. For the little one, which is only 9 months old I served a portion of the salad on her Lion bowl. For Panos I served on his Pippa Penguin plate:
- a portion of this red beans salad along with
- Feta cheese flowers, cut with my cute veggie cutters. Panos is obsessed with those cutters and he loves to pick which shape to use each time.
- Mango and raspberries
Of course if you are dairy free or vegan you can omit the feta cheese.
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How to store
The salad stored beautifully in the fridge for 3 days in an air tight container. Actually I feel like it tastes better if you make it the day before, so it is a great dish for meal prep. I haven’t tried freezing this salad but I would not suggested as the fresh produce (cucumbers, tomatoes, onions) will be soggy after defrosting.
Red beans and quinoa saladCourse: Dairy free, Gluten free, Legumes, Vegan, Vegetarian, Vegetarian
3 cups cooked red beans (~ 1 1/4 cup dry beans)
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (~ 1/2 cup dry quinoa)
1 cup diced cherry tomatoes
1 cup diced cucumber
1 cup boiled yellow corn
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1 avocado diced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
- Place the beans in a bowl, cover with water, add some drops of lemon juice and soak overnight.
- Drain the beans. Place them in a pot, cover with water and boil until fork tender (~40 min)
- Place the quinoa in a pot, add 1 cup of water and simmer until ready (~12 min)
- In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir well
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