Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Recipe: Southwestern Quinoa Salad

You may have noticed me casually name-drop Poker Group from time to time (i.e. here). Before the referrals to Gamblers Anonymous start rolling in, allow me to do some explaining.

Everyone has a group of people in their lives who aren't officially family, but were around so much growing up that they're not just friends either. That’s Poker Group. 4 families, 8 adults, 13 kids, no biological relation, and a whole lotta crazy. Though we’ve all shared beach trips, city trips, and ski trips over the years, it’s the parents’ monthly poker parties that have made the name stick. What qualifies as a name ‘sticking’ you may ask? They had matching t-shirts made. Seriously. Borderline inappropriate quote on the back and all.

So instead of being embarrassed that our parents party harder and gamble harder than we do, I can only hope that years from now my friends and I will still have the gall to conga-line around the kitchen table raising pumpkin martinis.

With that out of the way, here’s a recipe for a super fast and completely filling quinoa salad. It’s actually being posted at the request of one of the moms who has plans to make it for an upcoming Poker Night, hence the intro. So Mrs. Wagner – Here ya go!

PS. No idea if this is legitimately Southwestern. Could be Mexican. All I know is I did not singlehandedly invent this flavor profile. Can tell you though, that it definitely works.

1 cup quinoa, uncooked
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
¾ cup frozen corn, thawed
½ small red onion, diced
Handful fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced and zested
2 tsp ground cumin

Add 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water to a medium-sized pot and place over high heat. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover pot with a lid. Cook for 15 minutes, remove from heat, and fluff quinoa with a fork. Pour cooked quinoa into a large bowl.

Drizzle the warm quinoa with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl – this includes the beans, tomatoes, corn, onion, cilantro, lime juice, lime zest and cumin. Toss well to combine.
Serve at room temperature, cold, or warmed. 

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