Quinoa is one of my favorite grains to prepare. It’s simple, extremely versatile, and lends a light, fresh texture. Although, there are many things you can do with quinoa, I generally keep it simple and prepare it in a salad for a one-dish lunch or to bring to an event. My ultimate favorite is this Apple-Spinach Quinoa Salad .
Southwest Quinoa Salad featured here was made for a summer camping trip in place of a heavy pasta salad. It made for a perfect lunch!
Normally, I make southwest inspired dishes with cilantro (which my hubby is obsessed with), but I have an enormous amount of flat-leaf parsley that needs used in my garden, so I decided for a change-up. The parsley, added a nice twist of unexpected flavor, but still retained the fresh, cool vibe that you’d get from cilantro.
1 1/2 cups quinoa (rinsed)
1 tsp olive oil
3 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
2 cups water
1 can low-sodium black beans, rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups cooked)
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 cup bell peppers (variety of colors), diced
1/2 cup corn
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1/4 cup cojita cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste
In a pan, over medium heat, add olive oil, cumin and paprika. Toast for one-minute; add quinoa and continue to toast an additional 1-2 minutes, until quinoa begins to smells slightly nutty. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
Once quinoa is cooled, combine in large bowl with black beans, red onion, peppers, corn, parsley and cojita cheese. Fold in ingredients, fluffing quinoa as necessary. Juice one lime over salad. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy slightly chilled!
This salad can be made ahead 1-2 days and tends to taste it’s best after the first day, once all of the flavors have had time to mingle.