Monday, May 21, 2012

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

Thanks to Pinterest, I found another winner...

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

Click on the picture to see the original recipe.

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water, salted

15 ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups corn (fresh is best, frozen is easy- no need to thaw before use)
1 red bell pepper, diced (you can also add some green pepper if you like green peppers)
1/2 an onion, finely diced (original recipe calls for red- I've used both red and yellow and both are good)
fresh cilantro, chopped (about 1/3 cup)

1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 lime, zested and juiced
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs red wine vinegar (mine is "pomegranate infused" and is tasty)
1 tsp chili powder
1 Tbs honey

Garnishes: Avocado slices, salad greens, more lime juice, etc

1.   Cook quinoa by putting quinoa and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Take off heat and let set, covered, for 5 more minutes.

2.   Once quinoa is cooled slightly, mix quinoa, beans, and vegetables together in a bowl.

3.   Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over salad.

4.   Stir.

5.   Garnish with whatever you want. I love avocados on mine.

Tip: Some say this salad tastes even better the next day when everything has marinated in the dressing.

Tip #2: People like this salad a LOT and it's a good one to take to parties and picnics because nobody else will have brought it. :)

Tip #3: Quinoa is one of the (if not the) only grain that is a complete protein, meaning our bodies use it as easily as the proteins found in meat. (Other grains, legumes, etc have to be paired with another one to give the body all the amino acids it needs, but quinoa gives us all of them.) It's SUPER healthy for you, and this recipe prevents it from tasting like cardboard!

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