I make this recipe often when we have visitors and have had many compliments on the meal. It is very refreshing for summer fare, and because you can make it ahead knowing its flavors are improving as it sits in your refrigerator, you can make it the day before and then have more stress-free time for your visitors.
This works really well for us as we enjoy hiking locally with visitors, but returning home and having to cook when I am exhausted is less than fun. If I make this recipe ahead of time, I know supper will be a breeze. I only have to make a green salad, take out a fresh loaf of bread, and serve.
1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, drained
4-6 scallions or green onions, chopped
1 red bell peppers, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
fresh cilantro (may substitute parsley)
juice of 1 lemon or 1 lime
1/3 cup olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar or 2 T red wine vinegar
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
Rinse the quinoa in a sieve. Cook in 2 1/4 cups water for about 20 minutes or until water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and then put into a large bowl to let cool.
Meanwhile chop the onions, red peppers, and cilantro. In a small bowl, mix lemon juice, vinegar, cumin, garlic, and salt. Whisk in the olive oil.
Add the beans and vegetables to the cooled quinoa. Pour in the oil mixture and gently stir all together.
Cover and store in refrigerator until you are ready to serve. Fluff again just before setting your quinoa salad on the table.
You can vary this recipe according to the ingredients you have on hand. Results will be slightly different depending on whether you use balsamic or red wine vinegar or whether you use lemon or lime juice, or cilantro or parsley. In other words, although I don't recommend leaving out ingredients, you can vary them and still turn out with a nice salad.