Black Bean Salad w/ Corn & Quinoa

Black Bean Salad with Corn, Quinoa & CilantroEasy, Flavorful & Satisfying Black Bean Salad

As the warmer weather increases, my desire to turn the oven on decreases. The temperature on our patio the last couple of days reached towards the 90’s. We both wanted a crisp and refreshing salad. One of our favorite go-to main-dish salads, Black Bean Salad with Corn, Quinoa and Cilantro made a very quick and easy lunch and dinner—and then breakfast the next morning.

Black Bean Salad with Corn, Quinoa & CilantroWe’ve enjoyed variations of this salad for years. Ever since we lived in Southern California and shopped at the small and excellent Calabasas Farmers’ Market. This was the salad I’d prepare after returning from the market with shopping bags of fresh herbs, veggies, fruit, flowers and fresh tamales. Always included were few ripe avocados from the “avocado man.”

Versatility plus
Salsa and cilantro, corn and black beans are naturals.  Add protein-rich, gluten-free quinoa and you have a quick & easy recipe for a satisfying main-dish salad any day or meal of the week.

Black Bean Salad with Corn, Quinoa & CilantroAdd, take-away or substitute veggies and grains based on what you have on hand. Cucumber, tomatoes, fennel, radishes, red pepper, black olives, peas, millet, brown rice and the list goes on. A bit of cumin and/or chile flakes in the dressing, finely diced red onion for scallions—you get the idea. Do what you will; this very versatile Black Bean Salad always seems to taste great.

What’s in your Black Bean Salad?
My sister developed her own recipe for black bean salad. So I’m just guessing that you, too, may have a version.  What do you put into your Black Bean Salad?Black Bean Salad with Corn, Quinoa & Cilantro

Black Bean Salad with Corn, Quinoa & Cilantro

Vibrant colors, Southwestern flavors, protein-rich, gluten-free and vegan. Feel free to use other grains and/or vegetables. Crumbled soft goat cheese adds a creamy contrast to all the crunchy vegetables. Never soggy, always sturdy Black Bean Salad makes great leftovers and holds up well for picnics and lunch boxes. Should you have already cooked quinoa or another grain in the fridge, Black Bean Salad takes only minutes to prepare.

Makes about 12 cups
Active time:  30 minutes
Total time:  45 minutes including cooking the quinoa

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
Large pinch of salt

Salad ingredients
1 25-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained (or two 15-ounce cans)
1 15-ounce can organic corn, drained
3 ½ cups grated carrots (approx 4 large carrots)Black Bean Salad with Corn, Quinoa & Cilantro
1 cup jicama ½-inch matchsticks
1 avocado, diced
½ cup thinly sliced scallions
¾ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
¾ cup medium or hot Green Mountain Gringo Salsa or your favorite salsa
1 red bell pepper, roasted and diced
½ cup crumbled goat cheese (optional)
Season generously with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 ½ tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  1. Combine the quinoa, large pinch of salt and 2 cups of water in a Black Bean Salad with Corn, Quinoa & Cilantromedium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook the quinoa for 17 minutes. Turn off the heat. Let the pan sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove the cover and spread the quinoa out on a sheet pan to cool. You can put the pan in the fridge or freezer for faster cooling.
  2. Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Toss to combine.
  3. Stir in the quinoa when cooled.
  4. Prepare the dressing and toss with the salad. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.

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2 thoughts on “Black Bean Salad w/ Corn & Quinoa

  1. This will be one of my favorite go to recipes. It was one of the rare moments when my husband said “this is good!” I did alter the ingredients a bit. As I got started, I realized I did not have quinoa so I used brown rice and that was just fine. Then I realized I did not have salsa so I pulled out a can of Fire Roasted Muir Glen tomatoes heating them with onion and garlic and some herbs and presto, it worked.

    It was even good the second day when I remembered to add the avocado! Needless to say, one can improvise with this one. Thanks Janice.

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