April 20, 2011 | Beans & Grains, Salads
You know what makes a fabulous vegetarian dish even better? Some bacon! You know it as well as I do – bacon is pure goodness on a plate, and the crispy, salty flavor just makes the other ingredients in this healthy salad pop.Throughout March, April and May, I’m forced to take a hiatus from my CSA farm, and I make myself try to use up things that are sitting around from last year’s harvest. Like these black beans. I soaked them for nearly two days, then simmered them with some bay leaves and salt until they were tender. Best texture of any bean I’ve ever had, hands down!I also had a package of bacon lying around, still battling my fear of making bacon again after my nasty bacon grease burn a few months ago.But back on the bike, as they say, and I managed to cook crispy bacon slices in the oven without any burns.I’ve been trying to work more vegetables into each meal, and as I prepped my garden yesterday, I found some gorgeous green onions that had volunteered themselves up from last year. So I sliced them along with some red pepper and celery left over from an event last week.This recipe is simple to make – just toss together the beans with cooked quinoa and the vegetables. Add some crispy bacon bits and toss with your favorite vinaigrette. I used a simple lemon vinaigrette that I had in the fridge and the lemon flavor was really nice in the salad. You could also add some chopped herbs to this – parsley, chives, or cilantro would work well. And you could swap out the quinoa for bulgur wheat if you prefer. Whatever you do, don’t skip the bacon!!!
- ½ cup quinoa
- 1 cup cooked black beans
- ½ red pepper, diced small
- 3 large green onions, sliced thinly
- 1 stalk celery, diced small
- 4-6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
- 2-4 tablespoons vinaigrette dressing
- Cook quinoa according to package directions, then drain off any excess water. Combine cooked quinoa with beans and vegetables and stir gently. Add desired amount of dressing and mix well, then toss in crumbled bacon and serve. If salad won't be served right away, omit bacon until you are ready to serve the salad so it won't lose its crunch.
This post was created as part of the Foodbuzz BACONALIA challenge and is an entry for a chance to win!