I’m a huge advocate of “refrigerator salads.” Or salads that can last in the refrigerator so they can be prepared during the first week of the week and have healthy food options throughout the week. The Smoky Quinoa and Black Bean Salad is a perfect illustration. It’s full of flavor, color, and texture. It also has a lot of nutrients, meaning it won’t go through the motions of monotony in just a few minutes. It can be served as an appetizer, consumed on its own as a snack, and in a more significant amount as a light meal,l or put in an omelet with greens for an easy and easy lunch. The salad you keep in your fridge provides you with an opportunity to have plenty of possibilities!


1 cup uncooked quinoa ($1.40)

One cup of olive oil ($0.52)

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar ($0.10)

1/2 tsp smoked paprika ($0.05)

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin ($0.02)

1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder ($0.02)

1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)

Black pepper freshly cracked ($0.05)

1 15oz. Can black beans ($0.59)

Two bell peppers (preferably red, yellow, or orange) ($1.98)

Two green onions ($0.25)


Rinse the quinoa thoroughly using a mesh sieve to stop the tiny particles from washing away. Let the excess water be drained, and then put the quinoa in a saucepan.

Add 1.75 cups of water to the saucepan with the quinoa. Put the lid over it, and bring it to a boil at a high temperature. When it is at a boiling point, reduce the heat to a low setting and allow it to sit for fifteen minutes. After 15 minutes, please turn off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes without removing the lid. After that, mix it up using a fork, and let the quinoa cool (I put mine in the fridge for more rapid cooling).

While the quinoa cooks, make the dressing. In a small bowl, AMix vinegar, olive oil, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and freshly cracked pepper. Keep the sauce in a bowl.

Wash and strain the black beans. Cut the bell peppers into pieces, and cut the green onions.

Mix the bell peppers, beans, green onions, beans, and cooled quinoa into a large bowl. Pour the dressing over and stir until it is evenly incorporated and coated with sauce. Check the salt and adjust it as needed. Serve immediately or chill until you are ready to serve. Make sure you mix the salad well before serving.