Saturday, October 1, 2011

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

Happy World Vegetarian Day all! I'm behind again,  reporting on World Vegetarian Day. Awfully convenient, but entirely coincidental, that my own personal vegan week happened during this time.

Wednesday's menu was as follows:
  • shredded wheat with soy milk
  • barbecued tofu
  • veggie sandwich with potato chips
  • garlic broccoli campanelle** with cherry tomatoes
  • candy corn
  • caraway Finn Crisp
  • To drink: coffee, water, cherry pepsi, coke, violet soda, & tea
**recipe upcoming in future blog entry

I was inspired to make quinoa salads from the blog Closet Cooking a long time ago. My previously posted quinoa salads can be found here and here. The inspiration for this version of quinoa salad, came from a lonely ear of corn in my fridge, as well as a half of avocado that I didn't want to go bad. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of it until I was eating the last of the leftovers at work. Oops!
                                                  Very classy with the plastic utensils, no?

Southwestern Quinoa Salad (serves 4-6)
  • 1/2 C quinoa, uncooked
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 medium zucchini, diced 
  • 1/2 C canned black beans, drained
  • 1 ear cooked corn, kernels removed (about 1/2 C)
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 C (or more) cilantro, chopped
  • juice & zest of 1-2 limes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 avocado (or more) 
1. Cook the quinoa as outlined in Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette. Allow to cool.
2. Place the cooked quinoa in a large bowl. Mix in the cherry tomatoes, zucchini, black beans, corn, and green onion.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, cilantro, lime juice and zest, cumin, oregano, chili powder, garlic, and salt and pepper.
4. Combine the dressing with the quinoa mixture. Dice the avocado and add to the salad. 
5. Refrigerate and allow the flavors to blend for at least a couple hours before serving.

Kitchen Notes: I halved the tomatoes rather than quartered, but would have preferred them quartered, which is why I wrote the recipe this way. Unlike a lot of recipes with avocado, the avocado remains fresh and green for several days. I underseasoned because I ate the salad mixed with hot sauce, red pepper sauce, or tomatillo sauce.

Verdict: Super yummy and a great way to use up complementary leftover produce in fridge. This is totally a texture dish, each of the components patchworks itself into a tasty, meal worthy salad.

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