Healthy high protein vegan lunch idea
Looking for an easy and healthy vegan lunch to meal prep for the week? Wondering how to cook quinoa in a pressure cooker, rice cooker or on the stove? Keep reading to learn how to make this delicious southwest quinoa salad recipe.
I love cooking with quinoa because it’s loaded with vitamins, iron, phytonutrients, minerals and it’s a complete protein according to the New York Times.
Quinoa (pronounced Kee-Nwah) will help you feel full without weighing you down and it’s extremely versatile.
This recipe is packed with tons of flavor, but also tons of protein from the black beans and quinoa.
This is an easy and healthy quinoa recipe. It only contains healthy ingredients:
- Black beans
- Cherry tomatoes
- Olive oil
- Red onions
Tips for cooking the quinoa
- Always rinse the quinoa. Quinoa has a coating that makes it taste bitter if you don’t rinse it. Even if you get pre-rinsed quinoa, rinse it.
- Cook the quinoa with some sort of flavoring, either veggie bouillon cube or paste or vegetable broth
- If you need some help, check out my post on how to cook quinoa in the pressure cooker, rice cooker or on the stove.
- Make sure to chop up all of your veggies to about the same bite-sized pieces. This ensures that you will get multiple flavors in one bite, instead of one large chunk of something overpowering each bite.
- I love to use cherry tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, black beans and sweet corn.
- Sometimes I will also add either english cucumbers, bell peppers or cooked beets.
- Lime is what brings this whole dish together, so don’t skip this part. Roll out the lime on the counter to ensure you get the most juice out of it. Then cut it in half and use a citrus squeezer to juice the lime.
- If you want to learn how to cook dried beans in the instant pot, stove top or slow cooker, check out my article on how to cook dried beans from scratch.
How to serve quinoa salad
- I love meal prepping a big batch and having it ready to go for lunch every day.
- This salad tastes great by itself, but you can also serve it over some romaine lettuce and add some cooked beets.
- This also tastes great served over massaged kale. Cut up some kale and massage in an avocado for about 5 minutes. This helps to break down the cell walls and make it digest easier and taste better because it gets rid of some of the kale’s bitterness. Sprinkle a little salt over the kale.
How long will this salad last?
This quinoa salad will last in the fridge in an airtight container for five to seven days.
I’ve never tried freezing it before but I think this would freeze well. It may make the tomatoes a little mushy, though. Just completely thaw it in the fridge before eating.
More plant based lunch recipes to try
- Quinoa curry burgers
- Grilled vegetable pasta salad
- Vegan taco salad
- Tomato, cucumber avocado salad
- Vegan pasta salad
- Vegan summer rolls
Southwest quinoa salad
- 2 cups uncooked quinoa (rinsed)
- 1.5 tsp veggie bouillon paste OR 1 veggie bouillon cube (can also use ½ tsp of salt)
- 2 cups water
- 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
- ½ avocado
- handful of cherry tomatoes
- ½ red onion
- large handful of cilantro
- 1 cup frozen sweet corn (rinse under warm water)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup lime juice
- Salt to taste
- Rinse off the quinoa (helps get rid of the bitter taste)
- Put 2 cups of quinoa, 2 cups of water and 1.5 tsp of veggie bouillon paste in a pressure cooker and cook on high for 4 minutes. Quick release when done (directions for stovetop and rice cooker in notes section below)
- Let quinoa cool for 10-15 minutes. While you wait:
- Chop up your tomatoes, onions and avocado into the same bite-sized pieces.
- Chop up cilantro and rinse frozen corn under warm water to thaw
- Mix together all ingredients in a bowl and cover with the juice of two limes and one tablespoon of olive oil.
- Salt to taste
- Tastes great by itself, or over chopped romaine lettuce or kale massaged with some avocado and salt. Add in some cooked beats for even more flavor and nutrients
Bring to a simmer and keep the lid off. Cook until water is absorbed – about 10-15 minutes.
Turn off heat and cover with a lid and let it sit for 5 minutes to fluff up the quinoa To cook quinoa in a rice cooker: 2 cups of quinoa, 4 cups of water and 1.5 tsp of veggie bouillon paste (or ½ tsp of salt)
Close the lid and let the rice cooker do its magic.
Let it sit for 5 minutes in the rice cooker after it’s done to fluff up the quinoa Tastes great by itself, or over chopped romaine lettuce or kale massaged with some avocado and salt. Add in some cooked beats for even more flavor and nutrients I also sometimes love adding english cucumber, bell peppers or olives
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Loved the recipe? Save it for later by pinning the image below