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Quinoa & Cranberry Bean Salad

"Natural Healing with Herbs for a Healthier You"

1 1/2 cups dried cranberry (or navy) beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
1 Tbs. plus 1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 cup black quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 cucumber
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Drain beans and rinse with cold water.  Place in a large saucepan and add water to cover by 3 inches.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the beans are tender, 35 to 45 minutes - Do NOT overcook the texture of the beans is very noticeable (too mushy). Drain beans; set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the  1 Tbs. olive oil.  Add the onion and cook until translucent.  Add garlic, add the quinoa and cook (stirring frequently) until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.  Add the broth, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed, about 45 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.  Transfer contents (quinoa) to a large bowl and fluff with a fork.  Let cool, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.  In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice and the 1/4 cup olive oil.  Pour over the quinoa and stir until incorporated.  Stir in the cranberry beans, cucumber, parsley, cheese (optional), salt and pepper.

Serves 4 to 6