Quinoa, Corn, and Bean Salad
Quinoa, corn, and beans join forces with avocado to make a sturdy salad with southwestern flavors. Do try it with the optional jícama when this crispy veggie is in season; it adds a nice touch of texture and flavor. It’s a perfect main-dish salad, paired with a simple soup or Easy Quesadillas or Soft Tacos.
- 3/4 cup raw quinoa, rinsed in a fine sieve
- 1 cup halved yellow or red cherry tomatoes
- 1 medium firm, ripe avocado, peeled and diced
- 1/2 medium orange or yellow bell pepper, optional
- 1 cup lightly cooked fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 1 cup cooked or canned (drained and rinsed) black or pinto beans
- 1 cup peeled and diced jícama, optional
- 2 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup salsa (use your favorite variety)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, as desired
- Juice of 1/2 to lime, to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and dried hot red pepper flakes to taste
Combine the quinoa with 1 1/2 cups water in a small saucepan and bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Transfer the quinoa to a large mixing bowl to cool. If need be, speed up the cooling process by refrigerating for a while.
Once the quinoa is just warm, combine it with the remaining ingredients in the mixing bowl and stir together. Transfer to a serving container or serve straight from the mixing bowl.
Variation: Place each serving of this salad atop a bed of mixed baby greens, baby spinach, baby arugula, shredded romaine lettuce, or a combination.