Do you have a favorite summertime potluck dish? I do and you are looking at it!

Quinoa Salad from www.healthygreenkitchen.com

I’ve been making quinoa salad in one form or another for years. I like to play with the beans, veggies, and herbs I add based on what I have in the house/what’s in season. Black beans are definitely my preferred bean, and as soon as fresh local corn starts to make an appearance in markets around here, corn is pretty much a must. I’ve added basil on occasion but cilantro is definitely a better fit with the other elements in this particular salad.

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Corn

If you are as yet unfamiliar with quinoa, it’s a seed that’s native to the Andes region of South America. I ate it several times when I was recently in Peru, cooked in a stew. While it behaves like a grain, quinoa is actually more nutritious than most grains because it is high in protein, iron, and calcium. Quinoa is also gluten-free.

Quinoa seeds are coated with a bitter substance so you need to rinse quinoa very thorough before cooking. Moreover, quinoa benefits from a several hours-long soak in water in order to deactivate the naturally-present enzymes that bind up the nutrients within. For this reason, on days when I am planning to cook quinoa, I like to place it in a large bowl and cover it with water for 2-3 hours. Then I pour off the water, and rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer before proceeding to cook it.

Recipe for Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Corn

Yield: 8-10 servings

As I mentioned above, I love bringing this salad to potlucks because it's easy to throw together and it feeds a crowd. I also like to make it just for my family, though, ensuring leftovers I can snack on all week long.

Ingredients:

*2 cups uncooked quinoa, soaked for 2-3 hours (optional) and then rinsed thoroughly in a fine-mesh strainer
*4 cups water
*2 cups fresh corn (cut from from approximately 2 ears) or organic frozen corn
*1 very small red onion, diced
*juice of 2 plump limes
*two 15-ounce cans (or one 28-ounce can) of organic black beans, drained and rinsed (or soak and then cook an equivalent amount of dried beans)
*2 tablespoons minced jalapeño chile, or to taste
*1 ripe avocado, diced
*1 large bell pepper (I used a red one), diced
*1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
*6 tablespoons avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
*Coarse sea salt and finely ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Combine rinsed quinoa and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until all of the water has been absorbed. Turn off the heat, add the corn, and keep covered for another 5-10 minutes. Fluff the quinoa/corn mixture with a fork and allow to cool slightly.

2. While the quinoa is cooking, combine the rest of the ingredients in a very large bowl. Add the cooked quinoa/corn when it has cooled and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Quinoa Black Bean Salad from www.healthygreenkitchen.com

 

15 Comments

  1. 1

    Aggie — July 18, 2013 @ 9:16 am

    Quinoa salads are so versatile, I love playing with ingredients and flavors too. This one looks amazing and I really wish it was in my fridge waiting for me at lunch :)

    • Winnie replied: — July 20th, 2013 @ 7:38 am

      Thanks Aggie! I did eat it almost every day for lunch this week!

  2. 2

    Anna — July 18, 2013 @ 10:48 am

    I’ve never soaked quinoa before but I will definitely try it the next time I cook some. Thanks for the tip!

    • Winnie replied: — July 20th, 2013 @ 7:38 am

      Definitely not a necessity, but I do it whenever I remember.

  3. 3

    France @ Beyond The Peel — July 18, 2013 @ 1:36 pm

    I completely agree, black beans, corn and cilantro. Though I have had those three together often. What a quintessential pairing. For some strange reason I have never tried it with quinoa, but now that you’ve mentioned it it sounds like perfection.

    • Winnie replied: — July 20th, 2013 @ 7:39 am

      Thanks France!

  4. 4

    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — July 19, 2013 @ 2:02 am

    Perfect summer salad recipe!

    • Winnie replied: — July 20th, 2013 @ 7:39 am

      Thank you Laura!

  5. 5

    Art & Lemons — July 19, 2013 @ 11:15 am

    I agree, quinoa salad is perfect potluck fare. I tend to make mine with cherry tomatoes, basil, roasted red peppers, walnuts, a bit of lemon juice and zest, olive oil. Sometimes olives or artichokes make it in too. Next time, I’m making yours.

    • Winnie replied: — July 20th, 2013 @ 7:39 am

      Your version sounds incredible, Nikki!

  6. 6

    Nutmeg Nanny — July 19, 2013 @ 12:57 pm

    Such a simple and delicious looking salad. Quinoa is the perfect summertime salad ingredient.

    • Winnie replied: — July 20th, 2013 @ 7:40 am

      Well maybe we can get together here before the summer is over, and I will make this salad. (ps you bring the oreo cheesecakes, k?)

  7. 7

    Ruthie — July 21, 2013 @ 12:17 pm

    Absolutely delicious! Perfect for summer! Thanks for the inspiration! I was in a rut of same-old. I soaked the quinoa as well–great tip!

  8. 8

    Week in Review 7-21-13 — July 22, 2013 @ 7:02 am

    [...] Healthy Green Kitchen – Quinoa salad with black beans and corn [...]

  9. 9

    Becca — October 3, 2013 @ 10:23 pm

    This salad was delicious! Thank you for sharing. I made it for a party and it received much love and praise. I made a few alterations to the recipe when I served it – used 4 cups of low sodium organic vegetable broth instead of water, and used most of a seedless cucumber in place of the avocado. I will be making this again!