Fiesta Quinoa Salad

A few years ago my best friend gave me a recipe very similar to this one and as soon as I made it, I instantly fell in love with it!  It quickly became a staple in our rotation of dinner recipes.  It’s evolved a bit over the years, but the core of it is still intact and just as delicious as ever!

Fiesta Quinoa Salad
Yield:  6 dinner-sized servings (or 12 side-dish servings)
Time:  30 minutes total

2 cups quinoa, rinsed
3 cups water
30 oz. black beans, drained and rinsed
1½ cups grilled corn, cut off the cob (can substitute with thawed frozen corn)
1 red bell pepper, diced into small pieces
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, diced into small pieces
½ cup red onion, finely diced
1 summer squash, cut into bite-sized pieces
20-30 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 jalapeño, finely diced
4 avocadoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 bunch of scallions, diced
3 tbsp. lime juice
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. garlic powder

1.  Place 3 cups of water in a medium saucepan.  Stir in quinoa.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Boil for 3 minutes, then place a lid on the saucepan, and turn the stove off, leaving the pan on the hot burner.  After 15 minutes, remove the lid and gently fluff the quinoa with a fork.  (Note:  do not touch the pan or remove the lid for the entire 15 minutes for optimal texture.)  Set cooked quinoa aside and allow to cool.

2.  Meanwhile, place the black beans, corn, bell peppers, red onion, summer squash, cherry tomatoes, jalapeño, and cilantro into a large mixing bowl.  Toss together gently.  Once the quinoa is ready, mix it in and gently fold in the avocado.

3.  Whisk together the lime juice, vinegar, salt, and garlic powder.  Drizzle over the ingredients in the mixing bowl and gently toss to coat.

Fiesta Quinoa Salad
PDF to Print Recipe for Fiesta Quinoa Salad

(Original recipe credit:  Shining Health Holistic Nutrition Counseling, and also to Leah for sharing it with me!)