Hopefully you’re already familiar with quinoa. If not, it is a must have ingredient in the pantry. Quinoa is such a versatile ingredient, the flavor just goes so well with just about anything. It’s such a tasty, hearty base for delicious salads! Here's some great facts I just learned about this ingredient: Quinoa is considered a superfood. It is the only plant-based source of complete protein; having all 9 essential amino acids necessary for muscle development. Although it is often classified as a “whole grain”, quinoa is actually a seed belonging to the same family as beets, spinach, and chard. This means that it is a non-gluten food source and ideal for those who have certain dietary restrictions. Moreover, its non-starchy nature has been proven to encourage weight loss.
This Black Bean and Corn Quinoa Salad is the perfect side dish, great to accompany any grilled meat or chicken perfectly well, and it also can stand as a meal on its own! It’s brimming with so much bright fresh goodness, plus it’s filling and totally satisfying. Not to mention it’s perfectly healthy too! You get protein from the quinoa and black beans, healthy fats from the avocado and olive oil, and lots of vitamins and minerals from just about everything here. So in other words, this easy quinoa black bean salad is something you can feel great about eating. Give the ingredients a gentle toss until everything is evenly distributed. That’s it, you’re done! Technically, you could serve your salad immediately, but if time permits, I strongly recommend that you place it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to allow all those beautiful flavors to meld and fully develop.
1 (15oz.) can black beans
1 cup Quinoa
1 3/4 cup water
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup Corn (I used thawed frozen corn, but canned or fresh would also work perfectly well)
1 tablespoon Aleppo red pepper
1 Bell pepper, diced small (I used green this time, but next time I would use red.)
1/2 jalapeno, finely minced
1/2 Shallot, finely diced
1/2 bunch Cilantro, minced
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup Lemon juice
1/2 cup good quality Extra virgin olive oil
1 Avocado, diced
Place olive oil into a pot, add quinoa and toast over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Be careful not to burn.
Add 1 3/4 cup boiling water, lower heat to low and simmer, covered, until all liquid is gone. Remove lid, fluff with fork, and place in salad bowl to cool.
In the meantime, in the same pot, add olive oil, frozen corn kernels, and Aleppo red pepper. Mix continuously until corn is thawed and warmed. Remove from heat, add to quinoa and let cool.
While those two ingredients cool, chop all your other ingredients (bell peppers, jalapeno, shallot, cilantro, avocado).
Drain and rinse your beans and add to the bowl.
Once warm ingredients have slightly or fully cooled (depending on time you have), add the chopped ingredients to the bowl.
Sprinkle on the salt and black pepper.
Drizzle on the lemon juice and olive oil.
Top the salad with the pepitas.
Give the ingredients a gentle toss until everything is evenly distributed.