Sun-Dried Tomato + White Bean Quinoa Salad

I hope everyone had a happy and healthy 4th of July! Mine was filled with lots of family, friends, fireworks, laughs, and good food! 

I am all about easy, light meals in the summer. Things that make you feel satisfied and nourished, and that give you enough energy to carry on with your day or evening. (It stays light very late here in the summer so we need that extra energy boost!) Quinoa is most definitely my favorite grain for that reason. For one, it contains all nine essential amino acids making it a complete protein, but it doesn't end there. Quinoa is a complex carbohydrate which means it keeps you fuller longer, it is loaded with fiber, iron, magnesium, antioxidants, and is gluten-free!

Aside from its impressive nutritional value, quinoa is also extremely versatile and can be used in a number of different ways. I love adding quinoa to roasted vegetable bowls and soups in the fall and winter, mixing non-dairy milk and berries for a quinoa breakfast bowl all year round, and tossing in some fresh herbs and veggies for a delicious cold salad in the summer. (Check out the recipe for my Quinoa Crunch Salad here!) The other thing I love about quinoa and this Sun-Dried Tomato + White Bean Quinoa Salad, is that it can be enjoyed as a complete meal on its own, or as one of the tastiest (and easiest!) side dishes out there. Be sure to try this one out next time you are volunteered to bring the side salad to your pal's BBQ!

Sun-Dried Tomato + White Bean Quinoa Salad

(Makes 6 Servings)

Ingredients:
1.5 cups quinoa
1 strip kombu seaweed
1 can of cannellini beans
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
1/3 cup parsley, chopped*
4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
3-4 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs nutritional yeast
1.5 tsp garlic powder
1.5 tsp onion powder
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

*This meal can be made neutropenic by eliminating the fresh parsley. 

Instructions:

1. Rinse and strain quinoa well to remove layer of saponin, then place in a pot with two and a half cups water. Add strip of kombu and let quinoa come to a boil.

2. Cover and reduce heat to low for approximately 15 minutes or until there are white β€œrings” around each grain and the quinoa is no longer crunchy. Fluff with a fork and remove kombu (the quinoa will now have soaked up all of its wonderful nutrients)!

3. Place quinoa in a medium-size mixing bowl and combine with remaining ingredients. Adjust seasonings accordingly, and store in the fridge covered. Great as a side dish or complete meal!

I hope you all enjoy this deliciously simple quinoa salad! Be sure to tag @nutritiouslynatalie/#nutritiouslynatalie on social media so I can see your beautiful creations!

xo Natalie