This is a recipe I’ve been sitting on for a while. I first had it over Thanksgiving week while I was visiting friends and family in the Midwest. My friend, Cara, introduced it to me. She told me how much she liked the flavors, but her husband wasn’t crazy about the dish altogether. So, she wanted my opinion. I was hooked at first bite.
Primarily because of the black beans, I knew Ben would like to try this. There was no doubt in my mind that he would like it, but I wasn’t sure he would love it because he had never tried quinoa in any shape or form. I was also excited to add another healthy side dish to our collection. I served it as a warm side dish, similar to rice, and he enjoyed it. The next day, I served it as a cold side dish, and he didn’t like it as much. So, the lesson learned? Although you can eat the quinoa salad warm or cold, my husband wants it warm.
My favorite way to have this is as a bed to slices of grilled chicken with fruit on the side. This makes for a very healthy lunch or dinner, and you feel really good afterwards. Although, without the chicken, you can also enjoy this as a vegetarian meal. My only alterations to the recipe are cutting back on the black beans and adding a diced red bell pepper. These changes are reflected below.
Quinoa and Black Bean Salad
Yield: 10 servings
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and pepper, and saute until lightly browned. Mix in the garlic and heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the quinoa, then pour in the vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Stir in the frozen corn and continue to simmer about 5 more minutes, until heated through. Remove from the heat and stir in the black beans and cilantro. Serve warm or cold.