It can be daunting to ponder vegan options for summer cookouts. Is it best to go with something for the grill, like veggie burgers or tempeh skewers? Maybe it’s better to make a crowd-pleasing side, like macaroni salad. Or a traditional summer dessert, like cherry cobbler, is best. This protein-packed bean & quinoa salad isn’t necessarily standard cookout fare, but it’s hearty and crowd-pleasing nonetheless.
This salad is substantial enough to be a meal, but light enough to serve as a side. It was inspired by the idea of a traditional three bean salad, but it became pretty untraditional along the way.
Traditional three bean salads are served cold and contain a mixture of beans, whether green, waxed, or pulses. They’re plenty nutritious, but I’ve always felt that they could use a little extra substance. I’ve been adding quinoa to most of my salads lately, like this Caesar salad and this BLT salad. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to keep the theme going and add quinoa to a three bean salad, too.
This salad features black and kidney beans, along with shelled edamame. I’ve never paired these three ingredients before! Usually when I make a salad, it’s one type of legume or another. However, I really like the way that the size and textures of the different beans work together. Thanks to steamed green beans, this three bean salad is truly a four bean salad.
To make all of the flavors come alive, I added a roasted garlic vinaigrette.I tend to eat a lot of roasted garlic during these months because I’m often roasting tomatoes or peppers. It’s easy to wrap a head of garlic and add it to the tray or nestle whole cloves between veggies. I love how roasting mellows the sharpness of garlic.
I wasn’t prepared for how much I’d love this roasted garlic dressing, but it’s a new keeper for sure! If you have a favorite vinaigrette that you use for summer salads, you can substitute it and save yourself the step of turning on the oven.
As you can see, I recommend roasted red peppers for the recipe, but it’s fine to use raw ones instead. And of course, you should feel free to add your own veggies of choice; grated carrots, fresh corn, and roasted zucchini would all make a great addition to the salad.
This protein-packed bean & quinoa salad is part of my year long celebration of the International Year of Pulses! In honor of the UN’s recognition of pulses as a sustainable, economical, and nutritious protein source, I’m inviting everyone to take the Pulse Pledge with me. It’s a commitment to eating pulses once a week for 10 weeks or more. For plant-based eaters, this amount may be easy. But if you’ve been hoping to incorporate more pulse recipes into your diet, the pledge is one fun way to do it.
In addition to being crowd-pleasing, this salad lives up to its name: once serving packs about 15 grams of pulse-powered protein. Which means that it’s both a tasty and a nutritious contribution to any holiday weekend gatherings you might be joining.
I hope you’ll enjoy it. And I look forward to seeing you back here this weekend, as always, for my weekly roundup of recipes and reads.
This post was created in partnership with the USA Pulses and Pulse Canada. Opinions are my own. Thank you for your support, and I can’t wait to share more pulse recipes with you this year! To learn more about the Pulse Pledge, visit www.pulsepledge.com.