Cilantro, quinoa and beans make a salad that's both healthy and delicious. Cilantro, quinoa and beans make a salad that's both healthy and delicious. Israeli Kitchen Cilantro, quinoa, sweet potatoes and beans make a salad that's both healthy and delicious. (Photo: MSPhotographic / Shutterstock)

Cilantro lime quinoa salad with sweet potato and black beans

A rich and nutty-tasting, fiber- and protein-rich salad that looks as good as it tastes.

  • Yield: Serves 8
  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes

I always thought cilantro tasted like soap. And then one day I was perusing an old cookbook and a sidebar informed me of a fascinating tidbit: some people have a unique enzyme in their saliva that makes cilantro taste like soap.

Talk about a life-affirming moment – this was earth-shattering. Shared it immediately with my hubby, who can’t stand cilantro, and then told everyone else I met on the street. Figured it was only fair, since before I found out that useful fact, I used to steer people away from cilantro in the produce section.

So yeah, I sub parsley whenever cilantro is called for. And you can do the same if you’re blessed with the special enzyme. But if you’re one of those who looked at me like I was crazy 'cuz you love the stuff, have at it and use plenty of the herb in this wonderful and wild quinoa salad. With its powerful protein and fiber punch and its colorful good looks, this salad’s a keeper!


  • 2 cups rainbow quinoa
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 8 ounces canned black beans, drained
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped fine
  • Dressing:

  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Place sweet potato cubes in a small pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until al dente.

Meanwhile, in a medium pot combine quinoa with 3 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 10-15 minutes or until water is fully absorbed by quinoa.

In large bowl, mix quinoa, beans, sweet potato cubes and cilantro.

Whisk together dressing ingredients. Pour over quinoa and toss to coat.

Related Topics: Salads, Vegetarian

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