Last summer I made a lot of quinoa salads and I think I burnt my family out on them so I haven’t been making many this summer. However when things get crazy with soccer 4 nights a week, gymnastics, runs, and everything else we have going on sometimes we need to have a quick meal on hand and I will whip up a quinoa salad. There are so many options when it comes to quinoa salads I often just use what we have on hand for vegetables and play with flavors. My bases usually consist of quinoa, greens (usually spinach as the whole family likes it), a little extra virgin olive oil or avocado, vegetables, and seasoning. This is a quick Southwestern Quinoa Salad that you can make with leftover corn on the cob, beans of choice, and any extra vegetables like peppers you may have on hand. We didn’t have any or I usually add peppers. Seasoned with cayenne pepper for a kick, cilantro, garlic, and lime. I like spice so I add more cayenne pepper if you don’t or are making it for kids you can make it with less and add more if desired when serving. This makes not only a quick dinner but also delicious side dish to any BBQ or picnic.
Southwestern Quinoa Salad
Makes 4-8 servings
1 1/2c corn, or 2 ears of corn roasted
2 big handfuls o baby spinach
1 ripe avocado, 2 if you want more chunks
1 can black beans or beans of choice, rinsed and drained or 3c cooked and cooled beans
2-3 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro
6-8 campari, or small/medium tomatoes, quartered
1/2-1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cloves of garlic
pinch or two of sea salt
Cook quinoa according to package instructions (1 cup quinoa to 2 cups of water). If using roasted corn on the cob remove corn from the husk. If using frozen corn heat in a pan with a little coconut oil to roast it or you can also add it without roasting it first if you prefer. Let cook for about 10 minutes and place in a large bowl with spinach. The warm quinoa will wilt the spinach. When quinoa is cool enough to touch dice the avocado(s) and mash it into the quinoa and spinach with clean hands. You could also use a spoon you will have bigger chunks and I find it easiest to use my hands. Juice lime into the mixture and mix. Grate in garlic using a fine grater and add corn and beans, stirring to combine. Add cayenne pepper, sea salt, and cilantro, stir to combine. Add tomatoes and mix gently. Store in the refrigerator to cool until ready to enjoy.