Quinoa Salad

Quick house-hunt update: there’s no new news.  Apparently, things move slower in Upstate New York.  I’m trying to be patient.  Trying being the operative word there.

So with no housing news, instead, here’s a great quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) recipe adapted from an old Gourmet magazine . . . since I’ve been away all week, I made this last Sunday so that the Mr. had something healthy to eat while I was gone (and didn’t just make a run for the border 😉 ).  Quinoa is one of the newly touted super foods–it’s a complete protein, which means it has all nine essential amino acids, and better than even that: it tastes good.  It’s a great replacement for boring (and, quite frankly, bad-for-you white rice), so I recommend giving it a try.  The Mr. and I are most definitely hooked on the stuff.

Quinoa Salad Yields 4-6 main course servings, 8 side-dish servings.


  • 1 cup quinoa (I used the organic kind from Costco)
  • 2 cups black beans (if from a can, then drain and rinse the beans)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (I would have used red wine vinegar like the original recipe called for, but this was all I had available)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked corn (from 2 ears)
  • 2 finely chopped green bell peppers
  • one bunch green onions, chopped
  • one pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro

For the dressing

  • 5 tbsp fresh lime juice (from about 3 limes)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp chili powder (or cumin, but again–I used what I had on hand)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Special Equipment Needed: Large Fine Sieve, like this one (the quinoa is so fine that you can’t use a regular strainer)


1. Cook the quinoa as described in the original recipe:  In a bowl wash quinoa in at least 5 changes cold water, rubbing grains and letting them settle before pouring off most of water, until water runs clear and drain in a large fine sieve.

Wash the quinoa

2.  In a saucepan of salted, boiling water cook quinoa 10 minutes. Drain quinoa in sieve and rinse under cold water. Set sieve over a saucepan of boiling water (quinoa should not touch water) and steam quinoa, covered with a kitchen towel and lid, until fluffy and dry, about 10 minutes (check water level in kettle occasionally, adding water if necessary).

Steam the Quinoa

3. While the quinoa’s cooking, prepare your vegetables . . . chop the green onions (using the whole onion–the white, light green, and dark green parts):

Chopped Green Onions

. . . cut the corn off the cobs (only after cooking the corn first, duh) . . .

Corn off the cob

. . . slice the green peppers and then chop them into small 1/2 inch pieces . . .

Sliced Green Peppers

. . . and halve the cherry tomatoes:

Halved Cherry Tomatoes

4. Add the vinegar (either apple cider, red wine, or even balsamic–just whatever you have on hand) to a bowl with the black beans and season with fresh ground pepper.  I had cooked a bag of dried black beans a few weeks earlier and froze 2-cup portions, so I just added the vinegar and let the beans defrost while I prepared everything else.

Black Beans

5. Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and let cool.  Then add the corn, black beans, green onions, tomatoes, green peppers, and chopped cilantro.  Toss well to combine.

Quinoa with Veggies

6. Prepare your dressing: whisk together the lime juice, salt, and chili powder (or cumin) until combined.  Slowly add olive oil in a stream while constantly whisking.

Quinoa Salad Dressing

7. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well to combine.  Refrigerate salad if not serving immediately.  Bring to room temperature before serving.  Optional: before serving, add two chopped avocados and toss well.  Enjoy!

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