Saturday, September 22, 2012

Quinoa Black Bean Salad

I was in a cooking slump for a while. It was so hot and we were going so many different directions. Our meals got pretty basic for a while. But now that we've got cooler weather and more of a set schedule, I'm getting into cooking again. I feel such a sense of accomplishment when I get something lovely and tasty on the table and we enjoy a nice family dinner. Some nights dinner is leftovers (love having leftovers on hand!) or simple pasta and sauce. But at least 3 nights a week, it's my goal to make something a little more involved (but still very easy).

I got this great recipe from my sister Shawni.  I think it's a great Indian Summer recipe - involves some cooking and some nice fall flavors but is served cold.

For info on how to cook dry beans really really easily and more bean recipes, visit this post.

Quinoa Black Bean Salad

3 c. cooled cooked quinoa (=1 c. raw quinoa and 2 c. chicken or vegetable broth; cook it like rice by bringing it to a boil then letting it simmer for 15-20 minutes - when the little circle things come loose from the grains and all the liquid is absorbed, it's done)
2 cups of cooked and drained black beans (or one 12-oz can, drained)
1 can white corn (drained...I use frozen corn)
1 c. grape tomatoes (sliced in half) or 3-4 chopped large tomatoes
1/2 red pepper (chopped)
1/2 a chopped red onion or 4-5 chopped green onions (to taste)
1/2 bunch chopped cilantro

Mix everything together. Then pour the dressing over the top and mix it in:

2-3 tbs. balsamic vinegar (I like it with 3 tbs because I love basalmic vinegar)
1 tbs. olive oil
1/4 c. lime juice
1/2 tsp salt (or more if you didn't use chicken broth to cook the quinoa - just add to taste)
1/2 tsp sugar

Serve at room temperature. I like to add avocado chunks too - mix them in or serve on top. You can also add feta or craisins. I often serve on a bed of lettuce (as in the photo). And a little extra lime squeezed on top is nice.

Serves 4-6 people. I usually double or triple this. It freezes well if you want to make a lot!

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