Friday, August 10, 2012

Going Against Character

Soon I’m going to have to stop with all of this healthy nonsense and get back to my usual, butter-laden dishes.  But I did this one a while back, and it’s been languishing in my ‘unposted’ pile for too long (with many others), so I thought I’d post.

You may (or may not) notice that the recipe calls for black beans when the photo, clearly, is missing them.   I know I intended to use them (for a catering job), and I can’t for the life of me remember why they were left out.  But then, I don’t like beans, so it’s not like they’re the first thing that pop into my head when raiding the pantry.

Also, in addition to the limes called for to be used in the dressing, I tossed my avocado cubes with a bit more of the juice to help keep them from browning.  I also read somewhere that if you’ll run the flesh of a newly cut avocado under cold water, it will stall the browning process.  I can’t say definitively that this works, although my experience is that it does seem to help, at least.  As a general rule in our house, avocados don’t stay around long enough to go brown, anyway.

If you don’t want to use quinoa here (although I’m getting more and more enamored with the stuff), you could always use cooked rice.  But if you haven’t tried quinoa yet, you really should.  It’s surprisingly tasty for being so darn good for you.

Southwest Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 Tbs olive oil
1 ½ cups broth or water
1 tsp salt

3 Tbs olive oil
Juice of 3 limes (about 6 Tbs)
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp chipotle chile powder
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp Mexican oregano powder
½ tsp each salt freshly ground black pepper

1 ear fresh corn, shucked
1 Roma tomato, finely diced
1 avocado, dices
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 green onion, finely sliced
½ cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped

Heat a saucepan over medium heat.  Add 1 Tbs olive oil and the quinoa.  Allow to toast for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the broth and salt, bring the heat up to medium-high and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to stand, covered, for another 5 minutes.  Remove lid and fluff with a fork.  Allow to cool.

Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a jar or plastic container with a lid.  Cover and shake until mixture comes together.

Cook the corn until crisp-tender, either in the microwave or by toasting in a skillet (allow to char slightly).  Allow to cool a bit and then cut the kernels from the cob.

Add the vegetables to a large mixing bowl.  Top with the cooked quinoa, followed by the dressing.  Toss to coat.  Allow to stand about 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.  Serve at room temperature.

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