I first stumbled upon this recipe in my early days playing with Tasty Kitchen. I adapted it to suit my needs (regular quinoa instead of red, lots of jalapenos) and now I make it without the recipe or even measuring utensils. The first time I made it, Jake was traveling for work in Alaska.
I was looking for an easy protein source that would last a few days since I didn’t have to worry about dinner for two. I liked it so much that I decided to make it again to see how Jake felt about it. The bowl was devoured in 48 hours. I made it again, gone in less than 24 hours. Saturday afternoon I made it a 4th time and, no joke, there was only one serving left by the end of the day!
Jake told me on Saturday night that he wasn’t even hungry, it just tasted so good he wanted to snack on it during the movie we watched (The Eagle). I said to go for it since it’s full of nutrients and other good stuff – I love making foods like this that are super healthy yet too delicious to put down your fork!
Here’s the original recipe. This weekend I would have used a red pepper as well as the green but mine was rotten in the center. TJ’s = no bueno for produce. I also used the roasted flavor frozen corn from TJ’s this time which gave the salad a good smoky flavor. Plus I loved the roast marks on the kernels :). The recipe directions call for some fancy tricks to cook the quinoa. I buy the quinoa and cook it according to the package instructions (which usually takes less than 15 minutes) but I sub chicken broth for the water. I do this with rice, couscous or any other grain and it truly adds so much depth to the flavor of any dish.
Change of plans, I’ll just give the recipe to you to make it a little simpler:
1 C quinoa
2 C chicken broth
1 tsp cumin
1 clove of garlic, minced
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste (about 1 tsp each)
juice of 2 limes
1/2 C cilantro (I used my fragrant bunch from the farmer’s market!)
1/8-1/4 C Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I usually err on the lesser because it’s not necessary for moisture or flavor)
1 can of black beans
2 C fresh or frozen corn
2+ jalapenos, finely chopped (I do not remove the seeds or the spine but you may for less heat)
1 C bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 onions, finely chopped (I’ve used scallions and red onions, both were excellent additions)
1. Quick quinoa according to package instructions using chicken broth instead of water, do not add any additional salt to the broth.
2. While quinoa is boiling, mix together the cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, lime juice and half of the cilantro. Whisk in olive oil in a steady stream.
3. Add remaining ingredients to bowl, including cooked quinoa (let cool for a few minutes). Toss to combine.
4. Serve cold or at room temperature. Enjoy!!
***The oils in the jalapenos will stick on your hands and burn your eyes. I speak from experience. DOUBLE wash your hands after touching the jalapenos unless you were smart and used rubber gloves.
In other news:
For lunch today I had this rich salad.
Spinach base (not my fave but all I had), thinly sliced chicken breast, cherry tomatoes, edamame, fresh ground pepper and some practically homemade italian dressing. Shaken in the tupperware and voila! Evenly distributed dressing.