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Black Bean and Sweet Corn Quinoa Salad

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Last week, I shared the Fudge Babies recipe, divulging how late I was in jumping on the raw dessert train.  Well, raw desserts aren’t the only thing I was incredibly slow to catch on to.  Until this week, I also had not tried quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), despite seeing it on nearly every blog I frequent!  I’ve been saving recipes for years, finally bought some over a month ago, and finally, finally, made something with it this week.

Quinoa is gluten-free and while it’s not a grain (it’s a seed), it is often used in place of rice and is cooked the same way.  Although I’ve now enjoyed it, I still can’t tell you if I like quinoa or not, because I couldn’t identify its flavor apart from everything else in this salad.  The salad itself was stupendous, so I guess if I didn’t like quinoa, I wouldn’t have liked the salad as much.

It has a pleasant Mexican flavor profile, and while carbohydrate-heavy, it is also fiber and protein-rich.  It is so delicious that I am a bit ashamed to admit I couldn’t even wait to sit down and eat it from a bowl like a civilized human being.  As soon as it was done, I took a taste and then stood over the pan, shoveling it into my mouth with the ginormous serving spoon.  In my defense, I was stressed, approaching a certain time of month, very hungry, and found this salad to be irresistible.  The perfect storm of coincidences to bring out the barbarian in me.

Black Bean and Sweet Corn Quinoa Salad

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen sweet yellow corn
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When shimmering and hot, add the onions and saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and stir for a minute or two until the garlic is fragrant, being careful not to burn the garlic.  Add the quinoa and cover with broth. Stir in cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes (or until all the liquid is absorbed).  Stir in the frozen corn and black beans. Cover and let the pot sit off the heat until the corn and beans are heated through, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in the cilantro. Serve warm or chilled – it is delicious both ways!

Serves 4 as a main dish, serves 6-8 as a side

Per serving (1/4 of recipe): 417 calories; 7 g fat; 72 g carbohydrates; 17 g fiber; 20 g protein; 10 Points Plus

Recipe source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

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