Quinoa Black Bean Salad

You know what I miss most about this year of medical school? Vacation. I cannot tell you how badly I need a break. Having just a weekend off between rotations is really not enough. And winter break feels like ages ago.

This is, of course, something that I’ll have to get used to. I’m sure I will have just as few vacations in my future as a resident. So I guess what I’m trying to do this year is to fine tune a way to keep myself sane in these conditions.

This was part of the reason why I started the blog. The cooking and baking I had been doing was enough for me during the first two years of medical school. But this year, I needed a creative outlet beyond just this. I thought it’d be a good idea to throw writing into the mix.

The reason I mention all this now is because 1) there’s nothing much to say about why I made this recipe other than that it’s simple and healthy and 2) I badly need a vacation and it’s just about all I can think about.


  • 3 bell peppers of different colors
  • 2 cups dried black beans
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 tbsp harissa sauce
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
  • 2 tbsp mustard


  1. Overnight, put the black beans in a slow cooker with 4 cups water and set on low. I prefer using dried beans over canned beans because it’s a simple way to avoid the high salt content in canned foods. If you do choose to use canned beans, make sure to rinse them thoroughly to wash out the salt before using them.
  2. Cook the quinoa with 2 cups water in a rice cooker.
  3. Cut the bell peppers into small pieces as the quinoa is cooking. 
  4. In a large serving dish, mix together quinoa, bell peppers, and black beans.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together balsamic vinaigrette, mustard, and harissa sauce.
  6. Pour the liquid mixture over the quinoa mixture and mix thoroughly. 

It tastes good served warm or cold so you can choose how to serve it. It makes for an ideal packed lunch when you don’t know whether you’ll have access to a microwave. This is my predicament at the start of each rotation so it works out well for me.


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