Recipes by Sarah Gardner: Southwest Quinoa Salad

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Southwest Quinoa Salad

This is a light salad is full of veggies and proteins to give us lots of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that our bodies need to function properly. Substitutions can always be made for many of the ingredients. For example, don’t like cucumber? Use zucchini! Use lime juice instead of lemon. Don’t like cumin? Leave it out, the salad still tastes great! Or, if you want to add a bit of heat add a chopped jalapeno pepper!

 

Ingredients

For the Salad:

1 Cup Quinoa 1 Cucumber ½ Red Onion 1 Large Tomato 1 Can Corn Kernels 1 Can Black Beans Handful of Chopped Cilantro (About 3 tbsp)

For the Dressing:

½ Cup Olive Oil ½ Cup Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice 1 tsp Cumin

 

Directions

  1. Cook the quinoa in a medium sized pot - Bring 2 cups of water to a boil with 1 cup of quinoa. When the water begins to boil turn the heat down to low and cover the pot with a lid until the all of the water is gone.
  2. While your quinoa is cooking chop your vegetables. They should all be roughly the same size – I usually cut mine to about 1 cm cubes. Keep to the side until the quinoa is cooked.
  3. Just before the quinoa is cooked completely (so when there is a little bit of liquid still left in the pot) I like to throw my black beans and corn in so that they cook thoroughly.
  4. Once the quinoa is done, and corn and black beans cooked, add the other vegetables to the pot.
  5. Mix your salad dressing and pour into the pot.
  6. Stir everything so that all ingredients mix well and the dressing evenly coats the salad. Serve this salad chilled.

Salad can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for several days.

 

 


A Few Nutritional Notes:


Quinoa:

  • Very high in protein (it contains all nine essential amino acids our bodies need) so it makes a great vegetarian substitute for meat – especially since it’s cholesterol-free and low-fat.
  • It’s gluten free.
  • It’s a good source of iron, fibre, riboflavin (a member of the B-vitamin family and has been recently shown to reduce migraines) and magnesium (which is good for your cardiovascular health as it helps to control blood sugar levels).

Black Beans:

  • Another good source of protein for the vegetarians among us.
  • Full of dietary fibre which helps to regulate blood sugar levels and is good for your digestive system.
  • Studies have also shown that the darker a bean, the higher it’s antioxidant content. So, black beans are full of antioxidants!
  • Lots of iron – low iron levels can make us feel sluggish, decrease school/work functioning and slow childhood cognitive development.