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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cilantro Lime Quinoa Salad with Black Beans & Roasted Corn (GF)

It was in the high 80s yesterday--in the middle of May. My original intent was to make this salad as a side dish, along with some BLAT sandwiches (bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato). However, in my stinking hot kitchen, just using the stove heats up the house a minimum of 3 degrees. Not cool with a single window AC unit for the entire first floor. No pun intended!

Needless to say, after roasting the corn and cooking the quinoa...I was way too hot to stand by the gas stove and cook the bacon. Sooo, our side dish became a main dish. I added some previously grilled chicken from the freezer (that I tossed in the microwave to reheat) and called it dinner.

My husband went back for seconds of this, and that says a lot! I ate the leftover today for lunch and it may have been even better on day #2. This would be such a yummy summer salad for cookouts and office potlucks. Or make up a batch on the weekend and eat it for lunches all week.

Mine could have used an extra squeeze of lime juice today, after soaking up the dressing all night--but I was out of limes. It was still delicious! However, it is something to keep in mind if you make this ahead for a picnic or lunches. You may want to add a little extra dressing right before serving.

Cilantro Lime Quinoa Salad with Black Beans & Roasted Corn

Makes 6 servings (about 1 c. each)

1 c. Quinoa (I used red quinoa)
2 c. Chicken or Vegetable Broth
1 can (15 oz.) Black Beans, drained and rinsed (about 1 1/2 c.)
1 c. Roasted Corn*
1/2 c. Red Onion, diced
1 small green or red pepper, diced
1 pint Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, halved
1/4 c. Cilantro, chopped
1 Avocado, diced (optional)

1/4 c. Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice (about 2 med. limes)
1 t. Lime Zest
1/4 c. Olive Oil
1 clove Garlic, crushed
1 t. Honey or Sugar (optional--I did not use, but you may prefer)
1 t. Cumin
Salt & Pepper

1. Rinse quinoa thoroughly and combine with 2 c. broth in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15-20 min. Stir occasionally. Quinoa is done when liquid has cooked off, grain is soft and germ ring has appeared on the outer edge of the grain. Allow to cool.

2. In a small bowl combine lime juice, olive oil, lime zest, garlic, honey (if using), cumin, salt and pepper. Whisk well to emulsify.

3. Add cooled quinoa, roasted corn, black beans, green pepper, tomatoes, onions, avocado (if using) and cilantro to a large serving bowl. Pour lime dressing over quinoa mixture and toss to blend. Refrigerate 2 hours for best results.

*Heat 1 T. olive oil in a small saucepan at med/high heat and add 1 c. frozen corn. Sauté until corn just begins to blacken.

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