Protein-Packed Vegan Salad
This flavor-packed salad—a real crowd-pleaser—is high in protein, thanks to quinoa and black beans. For an extra punch of nutrition, serve over your favorite greens and drizzle with olive oil.
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As plant-based diets grow in popularity, an abundance of new vegan protein alternatives are hitting the market. Trendy new ingredients such as jackfruit “chicken,” banana blossom “fish,” and mung bean “eggs” are replacing soy, and plant-based protein powders are an easy way to amp up your intake of this key nutrient.
The downside? Some faux sausages, fake cheeses, and bleeding burgers are über-processed and contain iffy ingredients. If you’re looking for a more natural vegan experience, plain old beans are still the cleanest, cheapest source of vegan protein. Plus they’re loaded with other nutrients and crazy high in fiber. So while they’re generally frowned upon in Paleo and Keto circles, beans can be a vegan’s best friend.
On the other hand, beans contain compounds that can interfere with nutrient absorption, irritate the gut, and cause digestive issues. The good news? Thoroughly soaking and cooking beans can deactivate these compounds and provide a clean source of vegan protein.
Quinoa Fiesta Salad
Boasting a hefty 9 grams of vegan protein per serving thanks to the quinoa and black beans, this salad makes a filling and nutritious meatless meal. For an extra dose of nutrition, serve it over a bed of your favorite greens and drizzle with pure extra-virgin olive oil. Enjoy!
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed several times just before cooking
- Pinch sea salt
- 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. sugar (or erythritol or monk fruit)
- 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbs. rice vinegar or raspberry vinegar
- 1 15-oz. can black beans
- 1 red pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
- 1 carrot, scrubbed and diced, steamed 4–5 minutes
- 5 scallions, roots and dark green woody stems removed, minced
- ¼ cup currants
- ¼ cup cooked corn (optional)
- 2 Tbs. fresh cilantro or parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- Bring 2 cups water to boil in 3-quart saucepan. Add quinoa and salt, reduce heat to simmer, and cook 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat. Fluff with fork, replace cover, and let sit 5 minutes. Place quinoa in large mixing bowl to cool.
- Sauté garlic in nonstick pan over low heat 2 minutes. Add cumin and sauté 1 minute. Add sugar, stir to mix, and remove from heat to cool. Add lemon juice and vinegar. Mix well, and pour into quinoa. Add remaining ingredients. Mix gently but thoroughly, and serve, or place in refrigerator.
- Calories 200
- Carbohydrate Content 36 g
- Cholesterol Content 0 mg
- Fat Content 2 g
- Fiber Content 8 g
- Protein Content 9 g
- Saturated Fat Content 0 g
- Sodium Content 470 mg
- Sugar Content 5 g