I hope everyone had a wonderful Independence Day! My family had a pretty chill day just hanging out and–in my little cousin Hannah’s case–basking in the glorious of the local park. Hannah’s terrified of loud noises so there were no live firework displays on our agenda. That being said, my mom lives on the 21st floor of an apartment building, so we get to see all of the local fireworks displays in our area (even a bit of the District) from our balcony. Hannah preferred to stay inside, however, and watch it on the television.
During the warmer months, I find myself craving salads and an abundance of vegetables, meaning that I have to make an extra effort to make sure that I’m getting the proper amount of protein. One of my favorite ways to get some extra protein is through quinoa. I love having it in salads, as a pilaf, or even for breakfast à la oatmeal.
Today’s recipe is my attempt at recreating a quinoa salad that my housemate Doria makes. Doria’s a vegetarian and has a solid stock of vegetarian and vegan recipes that I would gladly opt to eat over a slab of meat. This is one of her staples, and all of us housemates used to steal spoonfuls from the bowl when she wasn’t looking. This was her contribution to our house picnic at the end of the school year, and we all enjoyed eating up the leftovers. With hints of cumin and cayenne pepper, it’s a great recipe to try making for a Meatless Monday dinner.
If you want to learn more about the Meatless Monday movement, be sure to check out their website. It’s a great way to cut out saturated fat from your diet, and to add in more vegetables, all while helping out the environment. As always, happy eating!
Black Bean, Corn, and Quinoa Salad
This recipe would be great with some grilled corn during the summer months, but, if you don’t have any available, it tastes just as great with some frozen kernels.
- ¾ onion – chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ cup quinoa – rinsed and drained
- 1 cup vegetable broth (if you want to use a meat-based broth, I recommend chicken)
- 1 cup frozen, boiled, or grilled corn kernels
- 1 can black beans – rinsed and drained
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1 to 2 tablespoons lime juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a saucepan, heat ½ teaspoon oil over medium-low heat. Add in 2/3 of the onion and all of the garlic. Cook until the onion is softened.
- Add in half your cumin and your cayenne, along with some salt and pepper. Cook for an additional minute, until you can smell the cumin. Then, add in your quinoa and the broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Allow to cook for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, add in your corn. Toss and cover for five additional minutes. Then, remove from the heat and transfer to a mixing bowl.
- To your same pot, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add in your onion and cook until soft. Add in your remaining cumin and cook until fragrant. Then, add in your black beans and cook until heated, about three minutes.
- Add back your quinoa and corn mixture, along with your cilantro and lime juice to taste. Toss together and transfer to a bowl.
- May be served either warm or cold.