Southwest Quinoa Salad

The other
day I tried a recipe called Mexican Chicken Marinade. I had a couple chicken breasts thawed and the beautiful sunny day called for grilling. Sunshine and BBQing is always a match made in heaven.  However, the question arose as always - what will I serve with the marinated chicken.

Years ago, I had piles of cookbooks I never seemed to use.  I went through and donated over half of them.  My intentions were to start going through the ones I kept, trying recipes from them at least once a week. I failed miserably. Today that would change.  I pulled out a cookbook called Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood (2011) by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming.  A little exploring brought me to this healthy salad recipe - a combo of veggies, beans, and quinoa with a Southwestern flavored dressing.
I loved that this dish could be made earlier in the day and refrigerated until meal time, and that it paired well with the grilled Mexican chicken.  Best of all, the day after, I turned the leftover salad into a full meal - bed of baby spinach, a good serving of the quinoa salad on top, some crumbled feta, and a bit of cooked meat from another meal that was needing used on scattered on top.  So a 2 for one. Note - I only had red quinoa, hence the darker color. If you use regular quinoa it will have a brighter look. For more interest, you would use tricolor!



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Southwest Quinoa Salad
Serves 4-6

Instructions - 

2 C                   Water
1C                    Quinoa (regular, red, black or tricolor)
1/3 C                Olive Oil
1/3 C                Fresh Lime Juice (2-3limes)
4 tsp                 Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp                Ground Cumin (recipe called for 2-1/2, but I find it strong)
1 tsp                 Finely Minced Jalapeno (optional)
1-1/4 C            Fresh Corn cut of the cob (can sub frozen/thawed in a pinch but try to get fresh)
1 C                  Diced Red Bell Pepper
1                     14 oz (398ml) can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 C               Chopped Fresh Cilantro
1/4 tsp             Salt

Instructions - 

Bring water and quinoa to a bowl, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for another 4 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow the quinoa to cool. 

Place the quinoa in a large bowl. Whisk the oil, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, cumin and jalapeno (if using) in a small bowl. Stir the dressing into the quinoa. Toss with the fresh corn, red pepper, black beans, cilantro and salt.

Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Note - I do like it better chilled, but it is good room temp as well.