Saturday, June 4, 2011

Red Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Corn, Revisited

I first blogged about this recipe one year ago. There was talk in my town of a delicious red quinoa salad recipe off the back of the Trader Joe's Red Quinoa box. I took one look at the recipe and knew it had the beginnings of a fantastic dish, but it didn't fit into my new found eating style as it was written. So I set out to remove the added oil and what resulted was worth making time and time again. It's no surprise that it's one of my first recipes to make as this summer's pot luck luck season is warming up. Just this weekend, Red Quinoa Salad is coming with me to two parties!

Red Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Corn

Printable Recipe

1 cup red quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
1 15 oz can black beans rinsed and drained
2 cups roasted corn (I used the frozen bag from Trader Joe’s)
1/2 avocado cut into small pieces
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
½ cup red onion, finely diced
1/2 large bunch cilantro, finely chopped
Optional: lettuce of your choice

For the dressing, put all dressing ingredients in a blender and blend:
1/2 large bunch cilantro, washed and cut the stems off in one slice
juice of 1 orange
juice of 2 limes
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 Tbsp agave syrup
1/2 Tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos
dash of Sea salt and pepper

Cook quinoa as directed on box with broth.

While the quinoa cooks (about 15 minutes), put beans, corn, avocado, tomatoes and onion together in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss gently. Add the chopped cilantro and toss.

When the quinoa is cooked, set aside to cool. When it is cool, spread quinoa on a platter. Top with the bean and corn salad mixture.

Variation: serve on top of a large bed of lettuce.

The corn, black bean, tomato, avocado, cilantro mixture dressed with the tasty no-oil dressing would even stand alone as a winning dish.  It's that good!

I find it's best to layer the entire dish onto a large platter. First, lay down a bed of lettuce (romaine, spring mix or whatever you fancy). Next, pile on the cooked red quinoa. Finally, Top with the corn, tomato and bean mixture. The dressing will seep into the quinoa and lettuce creating the perfect amount of dressing.


Barbara said...

oh. my. This does look delicious! Now for questions -- I have yet to find red quinoa in my area so will regular be ok? I don't know if there's a taste difference.

Also, could you sub regular orange juice for fresh squeezed? Approx what amount if you can. Also wondering about using lime juice (bottled) if fresh limes are unavailable.

Since it's just me and my hubby, and he doesn't follow a plant-based diet, I don't always have all the ingredients on hand (hate to buy and not use.) I'm nervous about using the juices from concentrate (lemon and lime) instead of fresh and wonder if there will be a huge difference. Thoughts?

Wendy said...

Regular quinoa is not a substitute for red quinoa. I'm sorry! :( The texture is different after they are cooked. Red quinoa holds it's grain and remains a bit crunchy. The white quinoa tends to turn into a mush in my experience, though it would be better than nothing! I'll bet you could order red quinoa from

As far as the juices go, I would go ahead with any orange juice you can get. I don't know the measurements as I have never made it that way, but you really cannot mess it up! Just take your best guess. Maybe each orange yields about 5 tbsp of juice?

Good luck!

Bonnie said...

My daughter makes a salad a lot like this - minus the corn, adding any color of bell peppers, scallions, and grape tomatoes. I have started replacing the avocado with mango for a change. We crunch a few baked chips over top. Our dressing is just lime juice and red wine vinegar. Oh and we add garlic. This is an awesome summer salad - and very pretty and colorful.

Alipet813 said...

Looks great! We don't have a Trader Joe's (it is being built now) and I can't find roasted corn. Have you ever roasted it yourself?

Wendy said...

Alipet813-Don't worry about the corn being roasted or not. Frozen regular corn will be just as delicious!

Senoraktal said...

I didn't have red quinoa so I substituted organic regular and it worked great. I kept the quinoa and black bean salad separate until serving so no soggy quinoa. I also substituted 1 Tbsp of OJ frozen concentrate and it seemed to work ok. I aso used the tomatoes I had on hand. So delicious! Thanks for the recipe.

cody said...

Great simple salad with a complex taste! video omelette

Jana Allen said...

Very few recipes make it into my file to be made again in the future, and this one DID!!! This was GREAT tightly wrapped in a wheat/corn tortilla along with a LOT of mixed spring greens. Thank you so much for giving me somewhere to use cilantro. I generally don't like it, but it shows up in my veggie box every now and then.

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