Cajun Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

After the Chicken Kiev from my last post, I thought I better get my health back on track! The kiev is definitely my favourite recipe I cook now, but, and it’s an important but,  it can only be eaten every now and then.

I wanted to include quinoa, beans and a LOAD of veg but didn’t want to make a chilli. I wanted some raw veg in there and so decided to make a salad. The portion sizes are huge but it is full of all the right type of foods, so even though it is reasonably calorific, it is loaded with nutrients, protein and fibre and therefore, you can eat this not just guilt free, but you will feel amazing after eating this.

I love the crunch of the spring onions, the freshness of the cucumber and olives and comfort of the beans and quinoa, aided of course with smoked paprika. It wouldn’t be cajun without it!

This is a weeknight meal by the way, hence why I am using tinned black beans. So quick, so easy, so good for you.

Have a go, let me know what you think. Feel the health…..

Serves 4

Cajun salad 2


  • 2 cups quinoa, rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 red pepper (capsicum), diced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 200g green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1 – 2 inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small cucumber, diced
  • 24 olives, chopped
  • 1 pack of spring onions, trimmed and chopped (there were 12 in mine)
  • small handful of basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Cajun salad other

Cook it:

  1. Boil the stock in a saucepan. As it boils, add the quinoa, cover and turn the heat to low. Let it simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You may need to remove the lid with the last few minutes
  2. 10 minutes before the quinoa is ready, put a large sauté pan or casserole dish on a stove over a high heat. Add the oil
  3. Fry the onion, pepper, celery, carrot, green beans and garlic for about 4 minutes
  4. Add the beans, paprika, oregano and thyme, season with salt and pepper and stir. Fry for 2 or 3 more minutes
  5. When everything is cooked, add the bean/veg mixture and quinoa to a large mixing bowl. Add the cucumber, spring onions, olives and basil
  6. Give everything a final stir and enjoy

Recommended Tunes:


Red Hot Chili Peppers “Blood Sugar Sex Magik”

BSSM could very well be my favourite album of all time. I was about 11 when it came out and it shaped a lot of what was to come for me. Many of the bands I have been in over the years have been influenced massively by The Chilis. They are currently out of favour with the hipster elite. I am sure they are not too worried though. After you have been on this planet a while, you realise how cyclical music is. They will be massive again, they are too good a band not to be.

The reason I chose this album is it is my go too exercise album. It really makes me drive that little bit further. It gets me through that last kilometre of running or enables me to do a few more reps of lifting.  This salad is like coffee in that it will fill you with energy (only no slump afterwards), and will make you want to get out there and move your body.  Blood Sugar Sex Magik will really hep you with this.

Listen – but do yourself a favour and buy it on vinyl!!


2 thoughts on “Cajun Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

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