Summer Green Bean & Quinoa Salad
Updated: Jun 13
I don’t know what it is about green beans, but for a long time, I just didn’t love ‘em. Is it because I spent years of my childhood eating them out of a can? Is it because of their leathery texture and somewhat unsavory flavor? Is it because I’m scarred from being force fed Aunt Gerdie’s slimy green bean casserole at Thanksgiving?
Well, it’s high time I got over feeling mean about those beans. Let’s look at the positives: they are readily available at almost all Asian markets nearly year round, they are super cheap, they are nutritious because of their fiber, and vitamin A (they’ve even got iron!). The best part? When cooked properly they are actually pretty dang delicious.
So, here is a power salad recipe for you featuring my new best green friends, and other protein packed superfoods to fuel you up without filling you out. And it’s spring so we gotta eat those greens ya’ll, swimming suit season is coming (even if you might only be wearing it in your backyard next to the kiddie pool, amiright?). This recipe makes a big portion, so it’s perfect for picnics or parties or for a few days’ worth of lunch!
2 medium handfuls of fresh green beans, ends removed, beans sliced in half (or in thirds if they are extra long), roughly 2 1/2 C prepared
2 C freshly cooked quinoa
1/4 C slivered almonds
1/4 C dried cranberries or blueberries
1 C baby spinach leaves or roughly chopped kale
2 tbs balsamic reduction
2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat a large pan over medium. Once pan is hot, add almond slivers and toast them in the pan, reducing heat as necessary to avoid burning. Stir the almonds constantly ensuring even toasting, and when they are golden in color, remove from the pan. Make sure to complete this step first so they have time to cool. Once cooled they will be nice and crunchy.
2. Place pan back on the stove over medium-high heat and add a bit of cooking oil. When hot, add prepared green beans, sprinkle with salt, and stir fry for about 5 minutes. Green beans should be tender yet firm, bright in color and still a little crunchy. Once done, remove from heat.
3. In a large bowl, add cooked quinoa, green beans, toasted almonds, dried cranberries or blueberries, and spinach or kale. Toss in olive oil and salt and pepper. The heat from the green beans should wilt the spinach or kale a bit and give them a nice texture.
4. Add olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Adjust seasonings to your liking.
5. Add the mixture to your serving dish and drizzle with balsamic reduction.