Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mexi-Quinoa Salad

I'm going to credit this recipe with the fact that this is the first time I have actually enjoyed eating quinoa. I make it every now and then because I know it is healthy but have never REALLY loved it.  I also tried a new method of rinsing the quinoa. When you forget the rinse step, you know it!  The quinoa tastes nasty and soapy in my opinion.   In the past I rinsed uncooked quinoa in a strainer.  I would run water over it and mix it up with my fingers.  This time, I soaked the uncooked quinoa in cold water for 3 minutes and then strained it. 

I served this quinoa salad as a side dish to some grilled chicken and sautéed rapini but it could easy be a main. It also makes a great lunch to take to work. I think the key with this recipe (and why I loved this quinoa) is that:

1. I served it cold
2. I used my go to Mexican spice mix*
3. I ate it with avocado which make everything taste better.

*equal parts chili powder, cumin, coriander. I use this combo on brown rice bowls or bean salads frequently. Add a dash of lime and cilantro and it gives any boring grain or legume a Mexican twist.

Mexi-Quinoa Salad
1.5 cups uncooked red quinoa
3 cups water
2 cups cooked black beans (or 540 mL one can)
10 cherry tomatoes cut into quarters
15 baby corn cut into thirds
1 lime
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 avocado

Rinse the quinoa thoroughly by soaking it in water for 3 minutes and agitating. Drain quinoa and place in a medium pot. Add water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes or until all water is absorbed.

Set aside to cool thoroughly.

Combine all ingredients (except avocado) and toss. Slice or cube avocado and serve on top.

Makes 6 sides or 4 mains.

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