Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Chile-Lime Vinaigrette

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Southwest Quinoa Salad 6 5-5-13Prep 10 mins  Cook 15 mins   Eat 25 mins

On Cinco de Mayo I made this Southwestern Quinoa Salad for about 50 people following our church service at Holy Nativity where I teach cooking classes.  We had made this dish in our August Garden to Table Cooking Class.  It is healthy, pretty and delicious.  People kept coming back for more and asking for the recipe.  So here it is.  It would be a delicious addition to your summer barbecue or when you need an easy potluck dish to bring to a picnic.

After cooking, quinoa has pretty translucent circles.

After cooking, quinoa looks like pretty translucent circles that are ready to take on whatever flavor ingredients you add.

Quinoa is really a pretty grain when you look closely at it.  The translucent circles gladly accept the flavors you give it.  In this case, a jalapeno chile-lime and cumin vinaigrette.  What did we do before rediscovering quinoa – one of the hot new grains of the past five years.  It’s gluten-free so it gets no bad rap like its wheat brethren – pasta and couscous, but yet, it satisfies in the same way.  If you’ve never made quinoa before, the secret is in the rinsing.  YOU MUST RINSE QUINOA IN A FINE MESH STRAINER BEFORE COOKING.  Without rinsing, you won’t like quinoa.  It has a bitter taste that is completely transformed from simply rinsing.  But it is very small, so the collander you use for pasta won’t do.

The vinaigrette can be made in the food processor and will have this pretty green color.

The vinaigrette can be made in the food processor and will have this pretty green color.

The jalapeno chile and cilantro will give the vinaigrette a pretty green color when mixed in a food processor, but you can mix it up in a bowl or a dressing shaker also and the cilantro leaves will add pretty green flecks to the quinoa.

Pour the Vinaigrette over the quinoa, corn, black bean and avocado mixture.

Pour the Vinaigrette over the quinoa, corn, black bean and avocado mixture.

I served the Southwestern Quinoa Salad with a simple quesadilla- a combination of shredded monterey jack (two pounds), panela and cotija cheeses (each one pound) placed between two corn tortillas and baked in the oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.  Cut up in wedges and served with a freshly made tomato salsa made our Cinco de Mayo brunch tasty and healthy.

Plate your Southwestern Quinoa Salad on a bed of lettuce if you like.

Plate your Southwestern Quinoa Salad on a bed of lettuce if you like.

Print Southwestern Quinoa Salad Recipe

Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Chile-Lime Vinaigrette

  • 1 1/3 cups quinoa
  • 1 pound frozen white corn or 3 cups freshly cut corn
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, strained and rinsed
  • 2 large tomato, diced
  • 1 large avocado, peeled, seeded and cubed

Vinaigrette

  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno chile, seeded & minced
  • 1/3  cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbs fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbs wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1. Rinse quinoa thoroughly with cold water.  This is VERY IMPORTANT, as it removes the bitter taste of the quinoa.

2. Combine 3 cups of water with quinoa in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook 10 minutes.  Then add in frozen corn.  Continue cooking for 5 minutes or until quinoa is al dente. Drain.

3. While quinoa is cooking, drain black beans and dice tomatoes.  Place in salad bowl.

4. Mix all vinaigrette ingredients in food processor, a bowl or salad dressing shaker.

5. After draining quinoa/corn mixture, add to salad bowl. Mix, top with cubed avocado, garnish with more cilantro and serve.

Servings: 6    431 calories

Preparation Time: 10 minutes    Cooking Time: 15 minutes     Total Time: 25 minutes

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