Quinoa with Tomatoes and Black Beans

Quinoa with Lime Dressing

The quinoa, as served to the Tiny Kitchen Assistant.

Last weekend, one of my Team in Training friends asked me about quinoa recipes. That was when I realized that I’ve never posted my standard, go-to recipe. (And yes, I realize that I’ve crossed some sort of line when I actually have a go-to quinoa recipe.)

The quinoa will first be cooked, then steamed. This gives it a lighter texture. If you prefer not to bother with the two-step process, just follow the straight-up cooking instructions that I posted here.

It’s a very simple recipe that can be served hot or cold. I don’t usually measure proportions, so everything listed here is roughly “to taste,” which means that it meets my taste. You may want more salt, or maybe some pepper, or any number of things that might catch your taste buds.


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained 3 times
  • 2 cups water or broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Zest from two limes
  • Juice from two limes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 diced bell pepper (optional)
  • 1 diced carrot (optional)

Wrapping the towel around the lid helps to capture some of the moisture.


Cook quinoa in boiling, salted water or broth for 12 minutes. Drain quinoa in mesh strainer.

Add about 1/2 inch of water to the quinoa pan. Place the strainer inside. Take a clean dish towel and wrap it around the lid of your saucepan, as seen in the photo. Steam the quinoa for an additional 7-8 minutes, or until light and fluffy.

In a large bowl, whisk together the lime zest, lime juice, salt, sugar and olive oil. When the quinoa has cooked, toss it with the dressing first, and then mix in the beans and tomatoes.

In our house, I serve the Tiny Kitchen Assistant the beans-and-tomatoes version, but then toss the remainder with bell peppers and carrots for extra color and flavor.

The version served to the adults, with orange bell peppers and carrots.


“I like this couscous,” the Tiny Kitchen Assistant said. “It looks like Saturn with the little rings around it.”

This is a great side dish, but considering the protein and fiber content of the quinoa and beans, it also makes a perfectly viable standalone meal.

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