MEXICAN QUINOA SALAD
“Keen-what???” That was my response the first time someone asked me if I had ever tried quinoa (pronounced: keen-wah). It sounded sort of strange to me but it did peak my curiosity enough to give it a try.
It is now a favorite in our house and we eat it several times a week. My husband prefers it to most grains so we use it in place of brown rice most of the time.
Due to its flavor and texture, it is very versatile and tastes great with just about anything added to it. I am always looking for new ways to cook/eat it and that is how today’s recipe came about.
Here are a few ways we like to eat it:
Asian: we also use it as a base for stir-fry’s with veggies and chicken or salmon
Mediterranean: it tastes great with veggies and some feta and olives tossed in.
For Kids: Duke is somewhat of a picky eater (more on that in future posts) but he loves quinoa with black beans and avocado.
Salads: I use leftover quinoa in salads for lunch. It adds a great texture and bulk to any type of salad and is a great way to use up leftovers.
A bit of interesting information about quinoa:
- It is naturally gluten free
- It provides all of the eight essential amino acids, making it a complete protein!
- Although most of us think if it as a grain, quinoa is actually a close relative to leafy green vegetables such as spinach and Swiss chard. Thus making it one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom.
- Costco sells a 4lb bag (it lasts us forever!) of organic, rinsed quinoa for $10. This is the best price I have found so far.
So… if you haven’t given it a try, you should! Today’s recipe works great as a side dish or main course and the leftovers are perfect for lunch.
PS: I’d love to hear your favorite ways to use quinoa and what you have been making lately!
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa (rinsed)
- 3 cups vegetable broth or water
- 1 can rinsed/drained black beans
- 1 C corn (I used organic frozen corn because it has no added salt or preservatives)
- 1 chopped bell pepper
- 1 C chopped red onion
- 1-2 jalapeños
- 1/2 C patted down chopped cilantro
- 1/4 C olive oil
- Juice from 2 limes
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
Cook quinoa in vegetable broth (or water) according to the package instructions. I cook mine in a rice cooker but the stove works great too. Allow it to cool completely.
Add black beans, corn, bell pepper, red onion, jalapenos and cilantro and stir all together.
In a bowl, combine olive oil, lime juice, cumin, garlic powder and salt and stir well.
Add the dressing mixture to the quinoa mixture and you are done!
Serve cold as a side dish or main course. Garnish with sliced avocado and cilantro if desired.