Quinoa Salad

I was looking for an alternative to summer pasta salad the other day and I think I found a good one. Quinoa! I was a little nervous as I had never used it before but I found a great recipe, that I changed a little, and  it came out wonderfully! I got the recipe from here.
Here is my spin on it;

Salad Ingredients:
3/4 cup quinoa (rinsed if needed, check the package)
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt
1 red bell pepper, chopped into small dice
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

Dressing Ingredients:
2 T fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 tsp. South west seasoning
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions:

Check the quinoa package to see if it needs to be rinsed (it often does) and rinse in a fine-mesh strainer if needed.  Combine quinoa, water, and salt and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.  Fluff quinoa with a fork and let it cool while you prep other ingredients.

Drain the beans into a colander placed in the sink and rinse well with cold water, until no more foam appears.  Let beans drain until they are quite dry (or pat dry with paper towels if you want to speed it up.)

Cut out the stem and remove seeds from the red bell pepper and cut into very small dice (about the size of the black beans.) 

When the quinoa is fairly cool, combine quinoa, black beans, diced red bell pepper. Add enough dressing to moisten all the ingredients. (Save any extra dressing to use later)

 This keeps very well in the fridge for several days.  The salad absorbs the dressing when it’s refrigerated, so it’s best with a little more dressing stirred in when you’re eating the leftover salad.

Mangia!

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