Southwestern Quinoa Salad
Yields: about 6 cups Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes
Protein packed, whole grain quinoa combines with black beans, corn, tomatoes and a fresh cilantro dressing that makes for a perfect salad!
1 cup quinoa, dry *(cook with chicken stock for extra flavor)
1 cup cooked corn kernels (defrosted if frozen)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
For the dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1. Cook 1 cup quinoa according to directions. *I like to use chicken or vegetable stock instead of just water to add a little extra flavor to the quinoa.
2. While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the dressing by mixing together the olive oil, lime juice, salt, chopped cilantro, minced garlic, cumin, apple cider vinegar and honey in a dish.
3. Chop the tomatoes and drain and rinse the black beans.
4. Prepare the corn. If using frozen, running under cool water and set aside until defrosted. If using fresh, make sure the corn is cooked before you cut it off of the cob for the salad. Canned corn is not recommended, yet if using, simply drain and rinse.
5. Once quinoa is cooked, remove from stove as well as pan and place in a bowl. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to cool the quinoa down.
5. Once the quinoa is cooled, add the tomatoes, black beans and corn. Mix everything together and then slowly drizzle in dressing. Mix well. Refrigerate until serving and while salad is best in the first 24 hours (quinoa and black beans tend to soak up all of the dressing and dry out the salad), it will keep in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 days.
Our garden is growing beautifully, and I have that bit of peace that comes with it. Also, I have a lot of fresh veggies and herbs that inspire new creations! Summer does seem to be a time of salads, and I often throw a lot of stuff together, mixing herbs and veggies. This salad is a family-friendly go to for a cooler, non-oven dinner.
We have a lot of cilantro, which is interesting, because I love it. My two younger kids enjoy it as well, and my oldest is on the fence. My husband, however, is one of those people that cilantro is just not their thing. I read that an aversion to cilantro is actually not uncommon, and for some is it incredibly strong and linked to genetics. His however isn’t too bad, so I kept the cilantro more subtle in this recipe to please to cilantro and non-cilantro lovers alike. If you are a fan, add another tablespoon!
I serve this on lettuce with tortilla chips for a meal. Surprisingly, it’s not only a great salad by itself, it also works as a dip (so to speak) for chips.
Quinoa is a grain that is actually a complete protein unto itself, because it has all of the essential amino acids. It is also high in fiber, as are black beans. Overall, you have a healthy, whole grain salad that’s perfect for company or a simple family dinner.
Other whole grain salads you might enjoy: