Southwest Quinoa Corn and Bean Salad
I’ve been asked to post some quinoa recipes. Quinoa has recently been dubbed a “superfood” due to its high protein and nutrient content and lack of gluten. It is actually a seed rather than a grain.
It tends to be a bit expensive, and for good reason – most of the world’s production comes from a small area of the world – the Andes regions of South America. As the popularity of quinoa rises in western culture, it produces a bit of an ethical dilemma – the local cultures that have relied on this food as a staple for thousands of years have trouble supporting both the local supply demand and the overseas demand. And because exports are often more lucrative than local sales, most of the quinoa is exported from these often poverty-stricken regions.
I love quinoa and eat it on a regular basis. So, I try not to complain about the rising costs, hoping that the farmers are at least getting fairly paid for their crops.
Ok, enough of the soapbox! 😉 Onto the recipe!
Southwest Quinoa, Corn and Bean Salad
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1.5 to 2 cups cooked dried beans)
- 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon grated lime peel (about half the zest from one lime)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (juice from 1 lime)
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt (or less)
- ¾ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- In a fine strainer, rinse quinoa with cold water, rubbing grains together with your fingers (this gets rid of the bitter outer coating); drain well. Combine quinoa and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 12 to 15 minutes or until tender. You know it’s done when the little “tails” spring out from the seed.
- Add the corn during last 2 minutes of cooking time. Place the quinoa and corn in a fine strainer; rinse with cold water to cool. Drain well.
- Meanwhile, in a small non-metal bowl, combine all dressing ingredients; blend well.
- Add beans, celery, tomato, cilantro, and dressing to quinoa and corn in a serving bowl. Mix well; cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors.
- Serve on a bed of lettuce if desired.
For more information how how to cook quinoa, this is a really helpful post: How to Cook Perfect, Fluffy Quinoa