A couple of weeks ago I hosted my mom's birthday party and asked my siblings to bring dishes for potluck. Since my family is so large, it's always fun to see what people bring, and for this event, they did not disappoint; to accommodate my mom's food preferences we prepared mostly vegetarian and the array of colors and flavors was fantastic. There was a lot of great food that day, but the dish I went back for seconds (and, admittedly, thirds) on was my sister-in-law Estelle's quinoa and black bean salad. I've heard a lot of talk about quinoa this year (it's a good source of protein and is high in fiber, among other things) but hadn't gotten around to trying it yet. Now I'm a total convert.
Estelle revised a recipe that she found online; here's what she brought to the party:
Estelle's Quinoa and Black Bean Salad
1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Quinoa is usually a 1:2 ratio of grain to liquid. If not using pre-rinsed quinoa, then rinse the quinoa three to five times.
2. To make three cups of quinoa, boil three cups water, place rinsed quinoa and water in saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed (about 15 minutes). Once cooked, cool the quinoa.
3. Chop the peppers and scallions. Drain and rinse the black beans. If using frozen corn, defrost and pat dry. If fresh corn, slice from the cob.
4. In a large bowl combine the quinoa, beans, red peppers, corn, and scallion. In a separate bowl, mix the salt and cumin. Juice the lime (removing the seeds) and add to the spices. Using a whisk, add the olive oil to the lime/spice mixture to create the dressing. Add dressing to quinoa mixture.
Salad will keep for up to a week refrigerated. Serves 12.
Image credits: Christine Koh