Quinoa and Bean Salad

By: Elna Botes van Schalkwyk

1 C quinoa, water and Himalayan salt
8 oz/225 g beans of your choice
½ C coconut or carotino oil (for frying)
4 large shallots: 3 thinly sliced into rings, and 1 minced
1 C gluten free flour
3 mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 tbsp balsamic/apple cider vinegar
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 T thyme leaves
¼ C extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp slivered almonds
Cayenne Pepper to taste


  • In a medium saucepan, cover the quinoa with 500 ml water and bring to a boil. Cover, remove from the heat, and let stand for 15 minutes. Drain the quinoa and return to the pan. Add 2 more cups of water and a pinch of Himalayan salt; bring to a boil again. Cook the quinoa over high heat until al dente, ±5 minutes; drain well.
  • Meanwhile, steam the beans until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes; drain. Rinse the beans under cold water and pat dry. Set aside.
  • Heat the coconut or carotino oil in a medium saucepan. In a small bowl, toss the sliced shallots with the flour, separating them into rings. Transfer the shallots to a strainer and tap off the excess flour. Add the shallots to the hot oil and fry over high heat, stirring, until golden, ± 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried shallots to paper towels to drain thoroughly; season lightly with Himalayan salt if desired. You can also simply add the raw shallots.
  • Add the raw mushrooms.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the vinegar with the minced shallot, garlic, and thyme. Whisk in the extra virgin olive oil. Add the quinoa, green beans, slivered almonds, and ¾ of the fried shallots and toss gently. Season with Himalayan salt and cayenne pepper and transfer to a platter or shallow bowl. Garnish with the remaining fried shallots and serve.

NOTE: This recipe can be made through step 4 one day ahead. Keep the fried shallots in an airtight container at room temperature to store. Refrigerate the quinoa, green beans, and mushrooms separately. Let return to room temperature before tossing the salad.

Enjoy! ♥