When spring and summer arrive there is a need for fresh and light side dishes to serve with all of your freshly grilled foods. This quinoa recipe is perfect next to fajitas, fish tacos, chicken, steak, or all by itself. It is even better after sitting in the fridge overnight. So, you can make it the day before and make getting the meal on the table easier. Or you can make more than you need and have leftovers. I’ve had this for lunch the past two days and it is so nice not to have to prepare anything and still get something really nutritious.
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a really amazing food. It is loaded with protein. It has a good amount of fiber and it is gluten free. It is also incredibly simple to prepare. It takes about as long as white rice, and is much better for you. The downside to quinoa is that is is a bit pricey. I paid $6 for a 1 pound bag.
This recipe came from My Kitchen Addiction. Here is the link. As with most recipes I try for the first time, I followed this one almost exactly. Here are my minor changes.
- I used a can of corn instead of fresh.
- I cut back the olive oil by 1 tablespoon with fine results.
- I substituted honey for the agave syrup since that is not something I have in my pantry.
- The second time I made this, a mere week later, I added some dried oregano and a dash of cumin.
This is a great salad that I’m going to play with some more. The possibilities seem almost endless! I might try a quinoa salad with diced cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, feta, fresh parsley, mint and a vinaigrette of olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and Greek oregano…quinoa tabouli! Yum.
Southwest Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 15 ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
(or about 2 cups cooked black beans)
- 3 ears of steamed corn, cut off the cob
(or 2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed OR 1 can, drained)
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped (about half a cup)
- 1 lime, zested then juiced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon agave syrup or honey
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Combine quinoa and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
- While quinoa is cooking, combine beans, corn, red onion, red bell peppers and cilantro in a large bowl.
- For the vinaigrette, whisk oil, vinegar, honey, lime juice and zest, spices and salt and pepper to taste.
- Combine cooked quinoa with vegetables, then mix in vinaigrette. Serve room temperature or refrigerate.