Sunday, April 10, 2011

Southwest Quinoa Salad

If you've never eaten or made quinoa before, you're missing out! Quinoa, which has grown in popularity over the past couple of years, is a nutrient rich grain that dates back to the ancient Incas. It's very simple to cook and can be a substitute for rice or even couscous in many dishes. And to top it all off, its tasty!

Quinoa can be purchased in just about any grocery store. It's typically right next to the rice. If you've never tried it before, this recipe is a good, easy introduction to quinoa.


* 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
* 1 1/2 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
* 1/2 tsp. chili powder
* 1 tsp. cumin
* 4 green onions, sliced
* 10-12 cherry tomatoes, quartered
* 1 cup corn , drained
* 1 cup black beans, drained & rinsed
* 1 giant handful cilantro, chopped
* 3 Tbsp EVOO
* juice from 1 large lime
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* salt & pepper
* avocado, chopped (optional)


1. In a saute or sauce pan, roast (dry) quinoa over medium heat, stirring constantly, until a light golden color, about 5 minutes. Some grains will start to pop. Use a fine mesh strainer to rinse the quinoa with old water. Set aside.

2. In a medium sauce pan, bring broth, cumin & chili powder to a boil. Add the quinoa.

3. Simmer for 18-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Allow quinoa to cool for 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, combine the green onion, tomato, corn, black beans & cilantro in a serving bowl large enough to hold all ingredients.

5. Whisk together the EVOO, lime juice & garlic. Pour over vegetables & toss. Season with salt & pepper.

6. Stir in the cooked quinoa.

7. Serve with diced avocado on top.

My Tid-Bits:

* This salad can be served alongside just about any grilled meat or seafood. As you can see, I made some grilled shrimp.

* It's also good for eating with tortilla chips. Mmmmm!!

* Be sure not to skip the rinsing of the roasted quinoa. It rinses away some of the bitter taste from the outside.

* For more info on quinoa, click here.

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