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If you have onions or peppers in your garden right now, time to use them with this summer salad. Grain salads are gaining popularity, although tabbouleh, an old standby, has been around for a long time.  (Try this Rice Tabbouleh from UI Extension.)

If quinoa ("keen-wah") is not part of your pantry, it is time you make it part. It is a whole grain that cooks in about fifteen minutes. Not many whole grains are so quick.

The grain salad in this post is colorful and flavorful. Quinoa is plain tasting on its own, so let the dressing and other veggies be the main players. See the video that shows it all put together.

Fiesta Quinoa Salad (Serves 8)

Quinoa is a whole grain that works well in salads, and cooks quickly. Prep the other ingredients and make the dressing while the quinoa cooks.

Salad Ingredients

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 cup frozen corn, cooked
1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup green or red bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
1 whole jalapeno, seeded and chopped (optional)

Dressing Ingredients
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Juice from 1 lime
2 tsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt

    1. In a saucepan, heat 1 cup water to boiling. Add quinoa. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and cool slightly.
    2. Add corn, black beans, bell pepper, red onion and jalapeno to quinoa.
    3. In a small separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, cumin, garlic powder, pepper and salt.
    4. Add dressing to vegetable mixture and gently toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours prior to serving.

    Nutritional analysis per serving: 100 calories, 4g fat, 55mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 3g protein