Meatless Monday: Summery Kale, Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

I realllly wanted to call this salad The Best Summer Quinoa Salad Ever, but that was too ambiguous. Or even Quinoa, Kale, Black Bean, Avocado, Tomato, Onion, Hot Pepper, Corn Salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette but that just seemed like too long of a name and you would probably would have stopped reading then. So just go with it.

Anyway, I love a good summery salad. Something with a good light vinaigrette, add in corn and avocado and I’m sold. So when I realized we had pretty much all of my favorite ingredients for a salad thanks to our Fresh Fork CSA and some farmer’s market finds, I knew I had to just put it all together and make the best summer salad ever. Add in some quinoa and a can of black beans and it was perfect for a vegetarian main meal. Oh yeah – even B ate it as a main dish without meat. That’s how I know it’s a success.

Don’t be fooled by the name, I may just be making this salad this fall and winter too. Because we all need some summer meals all year round, don’t we?

kale, quinoa, black bean and avocado salad

Kale, Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/3 olive oil (divided)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 hungarian hot peppers or jalapenos, diced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cup water
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3 c. thinly chopped raw kale leaves
  • 1 c corn (approximately one giant cob)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 avocado, chopped into cubes

Here’s what you do:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion and hot pepper, and saute for about 3-4 minutes. I also added a few slices of kale, but feel free to use all the kale in step #4 and keep it raw.
  2. Add quinoa and two cups water.  Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. While quinoa is cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients for the salad. First prepare the dressing. Mix 1/4 c lemon juice (about one whole lemon) with 1/3 cup olive oil and cumin.
  4. Finely chop the kale (remove the large thick middle stems from the leaves and then roll up kale into rods before finely chopping) and add to the salad dressing. Coat kale thoroughly in dressing. Add in corn and black beans.
  5. By now the quinoa should be nearly done cooking. After letting cool for a minute, add cooked quinoa, onion and pepper to kale, corn and tomato. Mix well.  Gently add in chopped tomato. Just before serving, add in avocado.
  6. Enjoy! Mine made 3-4 vegetarian main dishes.

kale, quinoa, black bean and avocado salad

Spicy Black Bean Burgers

You may have noticed I’ve been on a veggie burger and vegetable-kick lately. I have have been looking for new recipes for my meat-loving husband to try and challenging myself to find the occasional meatless (or semi-meatless) recipe for him and I to enjoy! Don’t get me wrong – I’m not becoming a vegetarian (far from it), but am trying to learn to cook veggies in ways that I don’t normally try to. And these burgers take the cake – they’re B’s favorite vegetarian thing I’ve made this year so far.

homemade spicy black bean burgers

Spicy Black Bean Burgers (adapted from Eat Live Run)

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed meal
  • ½ medium red onion
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • ½ fresh tomato, diced
  • ½ c panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ c canned corn

Here’s what you do:

  1. Chop jalapenos in half and remove seeds. 
  2. Add de-seeded jalapeno and garlic cloves to a food processor and mince finely. 
  3. Add chopped onion to food processor and continue to dice.
  4. Add one of the cans of beans and flaxseed to the food processor and combine with jalapeno and garlic mixture.
  5. Add cumin and mix until the mixture is has a texture that is similar to that of an oatmeal cookie.
  6. Using a spatula, stir in panko bread crumbs and mix well. 
  7. Stir in chopped tomato, canned corn and remaining can of beans. 
  8. Form mixture into small burger patties. Mine made about 10 patties.
  9. OPTIONAL PRE-COOKING STEP: Pop in the freezer for a little while to help patties harden. This isn’t necessary but definitely helps the texture since the patties are very mushy and crumbly when they cook. Since they made 10 patties, I made mine over the weekend and froze them ahead of time and only took out 4 to cook the evening of (2 for B, 1 for me for dinner and 1 for me for lunch the next day).
  10. Spray a pan with nonstick cooking spray and heat on medium. Fry black bean burgers on each side: if fresh, 5 min per side will do, if frozen you will want to cook longer, 10 min on each side or until completely defrosted and crusty and golden on each side.
  11. Enjoy how you like your burgers! I enjoyed mine with avocado and sriracha on an English muffin.

For me the recipe made 10 medium size burgers.

blackbeanburgerfrozen

Make ahead and freeze! I wrapped mine in plastic wrap and foil and put in tupperware.

black bean burger patties

burgers before cooking

black bean burger meal

How I ate my burger – with a side salad, cooked spinach and topped with avocado and sriracha