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Brighten Up Your Summer Meals with Color and Flavor

Published in Heart & Vascular, For the Health of It, Healthy Eating Tips Author: Danielle Armbrust,RDN,LD

If you are growing your own peppers, you know the hot summer weather is ideal (with a lot of watering, of course). Don’t have a green thumb? Just visit your local farmers market instead.

With summer gatherings and cookouts galore, it also is a good time to try out new healthy recipes. Remember to incorporate a variety of different colors in your meals to help ensure that you are eating a variety of vitamins and minerals. Black Bean and Quinoa Salad not only incorporates many colors, but it is bursting with flavor!

The salad starts with quinoa as the base. Quinoa provides fiber and protein and its neutral flavor allows it to pair well with an array of different flavors ranging from sweet to savory — or both in this case.

While the variety of vegetables in this dish provide a nice crunch, the fruit flavors as well as the apple cider vinegar offer a refreshing dressing. Most importantly, there is no added salt in the recipe, making it a heart healthy salad you can feel good about eating.

Black Bean and Quinoa Salad

Serves 2 (½ cup serving)


  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ½ orange, juiced
  • 2 tsp. apple juice concentrate
  • ⅔ cup cooked quinoa, cooled
  • ½ orange, chopped
  • ¼ cup red peppers, diced
  • ⅔ cup no-salt-added black beans, rinsed
  • ½ cup no-salt-added corn kernels
  • 2 Tbsp. red onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together apple cider vinegar, orange juice and apple juice concentrate for the dressing. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, orange segments, red peppers, black beans, corn, red onion and cilantro.
  3. Pour dressing on top of salad and gently toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehab