During our recent trip to Sapa, Vietnam, we’ve had several moments of reflections about our resolutions, goals and plans since Alvin and I are turning 40 and Albert is growing fast. One of the resolutions that I can discuss publicly, is for us to lead a healthier lifestyle! We’ll try to achieve 100 kilometers of walking and running every month, eat salad more often, and eat more fish and seafood and less meat. (I thought it would be almost impossible to attain the 100 km goal. However, for almost two weeks now, Alvin and I were able to run and walk for 25 km a week) ,

_DSC8809 Our Journey to Lao Chai

Today, I made Kale, Black Bean and Quinoa Salad. It’s a perfect side dish, or it can be simple a meal by itself. Kale is very nutritious, and somewhat bitter and tangy in taste because of its high iron content. Black beans are rich in protein and fiber while quinoa (pronounced as KEEN-wah) is called the “mother of grain”. The latter is one of the superfoods that is high in iron, magnesium, and fiber. It has nutty taste and can be bitter (which some people love), especially if you don’t rinse it. Just make sure to let it rest before mixing into the salad.

_DSC8698 Kale, Black Bean and Quinoa Salad _DSC8700 Kale, Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

Kale, Black Bean and Quinoa Salad
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
  1. ½ cup quinoa, cook and according to package
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 1 medium onion, any color, chopped
  4. 1 clove garlic, minced
  5. 1 can (425g) black beans, drained & rinsed
  6. Salt & pepper to taste
  7. 3 cup kale, shredded
  8. ¼ cup roasted sunflower seeds
  9. Feta cheese (optional)
Lemon Cilantro Dressing
  1. about ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, lightly packed (some stems are fine too)
  2. 2 cloves garlic, grated
  3. ¼" slice fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
  4. 2 teaspoon maple syrup
  5. 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  6. ¼ teaspoon salt
  7. 1 lemon, zest and juice
  8. ¼ cup olive oil
  9. Sriracha to taste
  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet and sauté onions, kale in garlic until the kale is just starting to wilt, about 4 minutes.
  3. In large salad bowl, add in quinoa, black beans and cooked kale.
  4. Put lid on the jar with all the dressing ingredients inside and shake well.
  5. Drizzle the dressing over and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate to chill.
  6. Top with sunflower seeds and feta cheese.
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