Thankfully this Quinoa Salad is loaded with healthy ingredients, because it was hard to stop eating it! And if you’re cooking for people who might be suspicious of quinoa, I promise everyone will love this salad. It’s low-glycemic, vegan, gluten-free, and the perfect Weight Watchers meal.
Lots of people are becoming fond of the South American seed product called quinoa (keen-wah). I knew this grain had become mainstream when I noticed you could buy a giant bag of it at Costco, and although I resisted for a week or two, eventually I bought one of those huge bags and stored it in the freezer. I’ve made a lot of tasty things with my big bag, but this Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Tomatoes, and Cilantro is probably my favorite quinoa dish so far.
Besides the cumin-lime-chile flavors in the dressing, I loved this because the wonderful flavors of the tomatoes, the softness of the beans, and the slight chewiness of the quinoa was such a nice combination of textures. The salad stayed good in the fridge for days, so it would be perfect to make on the weekend and take for lunch during the week. If you haven’t tried quinoa yet, this may be the recipe that will turn you into a quinoa fan.
Of course this lovely salad is my meatless offering for this week’s Meatless Monday post, and since it’s one of the world’s healthiest foods, quinoa is perfect for anyone who’s a health-conscious eater. My salad is adapted from Santa Fe Quinoa Salad at Food and Wine, but I switched out the ingredients a bit and added a lot more seasonings to the dressing.
Check the label to see if your quinoa has to be rinsed and rinse if needed, Then combine it with water and a little salt then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and let it cool while you prep other ingredients. Drain one can of black beans into a colander, rinse until no more foam appears, and let them drain until they are dry. Cut the tomatoes in halves, finely chop red onions, avocado and add corn. Stir together the lime juice, Spike seasoning, ground cumin, ground Ancho chile pepper, and black pepper and then whisk in the olive oil to make the dressing.
Wash, dry, and chop the cilantro. When the quinoa is fairly cool, stir together the quinoa, diced tomatoes, black beans, chopped red onions, avocado and add the corn so they are well combined. Then stir in enough of the dressing so all the ingredients are moistened. (Save any extra dressing to add after the salad has been refrigerated.) Gently stir in the chopped cilantro and serve.
This is one of my favorite salads…What your favorite salad?
Ali in the Valley
3/4 cup quinoa (rinsed if needed, check the package)
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt
1 container cherry tomatoes (cut in halves)
1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can corn (rinsed and drained)
1 chopped avocado
1/2 cup chopped red onions
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 T fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 tsp. Spike Seasoning (optional but highly recommended)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground Ancho chile pepper (or use regular chile powder if you don’t have Ancho)
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Check the quinoa package to see if it needs to be rinsed (it often does) and rinse in a fine-mesh strainer if needed.
Combine quinoa, water, and salt and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.
Fluff quinoa with a fork and let it cool while you prep other ingredients.
Drain the beans into a colander placed in the sink and rinse well with cold water, until no more foam appears.
Let beans drain until they are quite dry (or pat dry with paper towels if you want to speed it up.)
Cut in halve cherry tomatoes
Finely chop red onions and chop the cilantro.
When the quinoa is fairly cool, combine quinoa, black beans, corn, avocado,, and finely chopped red onion in a bowl.
Add enough dressing to moisten all the ingredients. (You probably won’t need all the dressing, but save the extra to stir into any leftover salad that’s been in the fridge.)
Gently stir in the chopped cilantro and serve.
This keeps very well in the fridge for several days.
The salad absorbs the dressing when it’s refrigerated, so it’s best with a little more dressing stirred in when you’re eating the leftover salad.