Southwestern Quinoa Salad

Quinoa used to intimidate me.  Until I started cooking it in my rice cooker.  The first time I ever made quinoa, I made it on the stovetop and it boiled over on me, which was a disaster to clean.  So I was always intimidated to try it again since I thought I’d have to babysit it.  Then I had an awakening and used my rice cooker.  Or rather, I found a recipe on 12 tomatoes for black bean quinoa and it said to cook the quinoa in a rice cooker.  So I tried it.  Both cooking the quinoa in a rice cooker and the black bean quinoa recipe.  The original recipe can be found here: http://12tomatoes.com/side-dish-recipe-black-bean-quinoa/.  I made a few modifications to my own liking, but since quinoa is so versatile, I doubt anyone would notice or complain.

Mix all your ingredients in a large bowl:  cooked quinoa, black beans, corn, bell peppers, green onions, tomatoes, sweet onions (I like the raw onion flavor, so I added these) and cilantro.

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In a mason jar, add your dressing ingredients: olive oil, cumin, chili powder, minced garlic, lemon juice (I didn’t have lime juice), cayenne pepper, and black pepper.  I was going salt free, so I omitted the salt from the 12 tomatoes recipe.  Shake to incorporate well.

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Pour dressing over salad and mix to combine.  Serve and enjoy!

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Recipe:

2 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 – 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 – 15 oz can corn
1 bell pepper (any color), chopped
1 large tomato, diced
4 green onions, diced
1/2 sweet vidalia onion, diced
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

Combine the quinoa, black beans, corn, bell pepper, tomato, onions, green onions and cilantro in a large bowl.  In a mason jar, mix the olive oil, cumin, chili powder, garlic, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and black pepper.  Shake to combine.  Pour over the quinoa and vegetables.  Mix to combine.

Serve and enjoy!

Caroline