I am introducing you to my absolute favorite way to eat quinoa: black beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, green onion, avocado, and a chipotle cilantro dressing. Full of everything that is glorious in life. Can you tell how much I love cilantro? I am sorry if you’re a cilantro hater. I use it often and don’t really have a recommendation on how to replace it.
So let’s talk a little nutrition here. It doesn’t get much better than this. Beans are one of nature’s perfect foods. Providing us with plant based protein, fiber, minerals such as iron & magnesium, and a few important B vitamins such as folate and B1. Combining black beans with quinoa is a powerful way to increase fiber in your diet (I’m talking about 10 grams in this bowl of goodness). The avocado supplies our body with a healthy dose of unsaturated fats (the good stuff) and is also a powerful nutrient booster. Avocados are a little like magic. They enable our body to absorb more fat soluble nutrients when combined with other fruits (like the tomatoes pictured above). Add avocado whenever you can! Finally (and perhaps most importantly to some of you), the combination of black beans, quinoa, and the avocado helps us to fill FULL for much longer. They are nutrient dense foods. This makes for an absolute perfect lunch!
Speaking of lunch, I would like to give you a tip on eating this for your lunch this week. The recipe below is meant to serve 4 (large servings). If you’re using as a dinner or plan on sharing it with someone, then go ahead and make as is. Often times I will make a quinoa salad and use it for the whole week as just my lunch. I’ll prep most of it on the weekend and I keep the ingredients separated. This helps to keep the flavors more fresh. The quinoa is made and put aside in it’s own container, the black beans and corn together in it’s own container, and the salad dressing in it’s own container. On the day of, I chop up these vegetables below, and combine small portions of everything.
And the dressing is perfect; a Chipotle and Cilantro Vinaigrette. Add a little more chipotle for some extra kick, don’t skimp on the cilantro, and a little lime & honey makes it just right:
Black Bean and Corn Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups broth or water
- 1 14 oz can black beans
- 14 oz frozen corn thawed or rinsed for a few minutes with hot water
- 1 large vine ripened tomato chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped green onion
- 3/4 loosely packed fresh cilantro chopped (plus more for dressing)
- 1 avocado chopped
- For the dressing:
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 3 chipotle peppers in adobe sauce
- 2 tsp adobe sauce
- 2 tsp honey
- Salt to taste
- Boil water or broth and quinoa is small saucepan.
- Cover and reduce heat to low.
- Cook until all water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy (approximately 15 minutes)
- Set aside to large bowl and cool.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing.
- Combine dressing ingredients into a blender or food processor.
- Add beans, corn, tomato, cilantro, and green onion to the cooled quinoa. Mix well.
- Top with dressing, add avocado to garnish.
*If planning on using leftovers, read above blog post on how to keep the ingredients fresh. Also, you may only want to use some of the dressing. Reserve the rest for later use!