Thursday, October 27, 2011

Southwest Quinoa Salad

Do you ever get on a food kick?  I find myself getting addicted to certain things, like soups or paninis or salads.  I crave them and want to make new versions or make huge helpings and eat them every day.  Funny, for someone who loves to try new things and make new recipes and can't leave well enough alone to just make a recipe as it is written, you would think that the thought of eating the same thing over and over would be torture.  Good thing I am crazy like that!
Lately, I cannot get enough of this salad.  I have eaten it about 5 times in the last week and it never gets old.  The brightness of the dressing and all the yummy fresh ingredients just make it such an enjoyable and filling salad.  It is great as a lunch (I ate it today with a bowl of homemade mushroom soup - delic!) or to go alongside any dinner.  It is so flexible, too - just throw in whatever you have on hand!  Try this salad soon, you will not regret it.  Or you might, if you are like me and cannot stop yourself from eating 3 bowls in one afternoon ........

Southwest Quinoa Salad
recipe adapted from many sources by Domestic Diva North

3/4 c uncooked quinoa
1/3-1/2 c black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3-1/2 c frozen corn
1/4-1/3 c diced tomato
1/4-1/3 c diced red bell pepper
3 tbsp finely diced red onion
3 tbsp chopped cilantro (or more to taste)

zest and juice from 1 lime
2-3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp cumin
coarse salt
1/4-1/3 c olive oil

In a small pot, combine the quinoa with 1.5 c water.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low, cover with lid and simmer 15 minutes.  Turn off burner and leave covered 5 minutes then fluff with a fork.  Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool or put in the fridge to speed it up.  If you live in frigid Canada like we do, you can probably just stick it outside for a few minutes and call it good!  While the quinoa cools, mix up dressing ingredients - if you like more oil in a dressing add the 1/3 c but if you are like me and like it a little more tangy then go less on the oil.  I like only 2 tbsp red wine vinegar and 1/4 c olive oil but that is my personal preference.
Chop up all the veggies and toss together with the quinoa.  Pour half the dressing on, stir and taste.  Continue to add dressing until it is well coated and tasty, keeping in mind that the quinoa will absorb the dressing as it sits.  Sprinkle with more salt and pepper as needed and stir.  Try to keep yourself from inhaling the whole bowl in one sitting.  It really is better if it sits for at least 30 minutes but the longer the better.  If you can make it an hour or two ahead, it really improves and just tastes better and better.  You can make a big bowl and just eat it for lunch and with dinners all week long.  I love having something ready made for me to just pull out and eat!

Go forth and cook, my pretties!

(For other quinoa recipes, look HERE)


  1. That looks so good, Tami. I've been meaning to try a recipe with quinoa, but haven't done it yet. This one looks easy enough for me and delicious!!

  2. I'm trying it, for sure!

  3. I didn't even know what quinoa was! But I am definitely going to try it out, thanks for the recipe!