Quinoa, Green Bean & Tomato Salad Recipe

A healthy salad from Iron Chef America's first Canadian champion Rob Feenie. "One of my favourite grains right now is quinoa. It is one of the most complete proteins on the planet and can work well on its own, in a salad or with other proteins. The key is to give it flavour, which we have done here with the lemon juice, capers, bell peppers and tomatoes. Thoroughly washing the quinoa before cooking it eliminates any bitterness. Use white or red quinoa or a mix of both. Vary this salad by using a grilled pepper in place of the fresh bell pepper, and when fresh tomatoes are not in season, try oven-dried tomatoes instead. Use the same quantity of roasted or raw vegetables. Serve this salad at room temperature for a vegan lunch or heat it up and serve it as a side dish with poultry, quail or barbecued salmon."


1 cup quinoa, washed well and drained
1-1/2 cups water
3/4 lb. fresh green beans, in 1″ pieces
1/2 lb. very ripe Roma tomatoes (3 to 4)
1 bell pepper (any colour), in 1″ dice
2 tbsp capers, rinsed
4 green onions, in 1/2″ slices
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp toasted pecans


Step 1: Combine quinoa and the 1-1/2 cups water in a medium pot and bring to a simmer on medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until all the liquid is absorbed, 15-20 minutes. Set aside.

Step 2: Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil on high heat, add green beans and cook for 4-5 minutes, until barely tender. Remove from the heat and drain green beans in a colander. Place the colander in the ice water to preserve the beans’ bright green colour and stop them from cooking further.

Step 3: Using a sharp knife, cut tomatoes in half and gently squeeze out and discard the seeds. (It is not necessary to remove the skins for this recipe.) Cut tomatoes in 1/2″ dice.

Step 4: In a large bowl, combine quinoa, green beans, tomatoes, bell peppers, capers, green onions and basil. Season with salt, olive oil and lemon juice, and sprinkle with pecans. Will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

See more recipes from Rob Feenie.

Reprinted with permission from Rob Feenie’s Casual Classics (2012 Douglas & McIntyre). Available through Amazon.ca or Indigo.ca.