Tex-Mex Quinoa, Black Beans & Corn Salad

Tex-Mex Quinoa, Black Beans & Corn Salad

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa 
  • 1 green or red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced or halved
  • 1 cup black beans (if canned, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped. Some saved for garnish.
  • ½ cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 2 green onions, trimmed and roughly chopped (optional)

Dressing

Use the recipe for this Southwest Bean Salad here

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Let quinoa cool. This step can be done 1 day in advance.
  2. In a large bowl combine the bell pepper, tomatoes, black beans, cilantro, and corn. Set aside and refrigerate until quinoa has cooled.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
  4. Once quinoa is cooled add the quinoa to the bowl of vegetables. Add the dressing and toss gently to coat.
  5. Top with avocado and green onions and extra cilantro if you wish.
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Pomegranate Tabouli Salad

Quinoa can be substituted for the freekeh cracked wheat.

Pomegranate Nutrition

Not only delicious, pomegranates are one of the healthiest foods you can eat! They are high in vitamin C and potassium, a great source of fiber, and low in calories.
Like blueberries, cranberries and green tea, pomegranates are thought to be healthy because they are loaded with antioxidants, which protect cells from damage by compounds called free radicals.

Pomegranate juice is high in three different types of polyphenols, a potent form of antioxidants. The three types – tannins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid – are present in many fruits, but fresh pomegranate juice contains particularly high amounts of all three.

Pomegranates in the store have been picked when ripe, so they are ready to enjoy as soon as you buy them. A good, ripe pomegranate should feel heavy. Surface abrasions do not affect the quality of the fruit.

Whole pomegranates keep well at room temperature and away from sunlight for several days and up to 2 months when refrigerated in plastic bags. In October when the fresh crop arrives buy several and store them in the refrigerator.KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Cracked Wheat

Tabouli is traditionally made from bulgur which is cracked wheat. Bulgur wheat provides various nutrients and is an especially good source of manganese, magnesium, iron and fiber. I like to use freekeh. I link to the bradn I buy on amazon. It is wheat but it is harvested when it is young and then roasted. The flavor is delicious smoky and nutty. If I don’t happen to have any, I also us regular bulgur and have even used quinoa.

Parsley

The herb parsley is loaded with nutrition: Lots of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and is the richest source of Vitamin K which is essential for bone health. 1 cup chopped parsley only has 22 calories so using parsley in this salad reduced the caloric density.

parsley1

Cook’s Note: Wash your parsley (and other produce) in a clean pan in the sink. Your sink provides a place for bacteria to thrive. Food particles in the sink serve as a breeding ground for illness-causing bacteria, including E. coli and salmonella. To prevent food illness bleach your sink every night.

 

 

 

 

 

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NOTE: Another option to the freekeh is to use quinoa instead of freekeh. I  used 4 1/2 c. cooked quinoa in this recipe recently and it was wonderful.  

1.5 cups raw freekeh + 3 cups water equals 4 cups cooked (Freekeh is Cracked wheat) I buy Freekeh at amazon http://amzn.to/1M0hjX7   
6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
5-6 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tsp minced garlic
2 cups (about one large bunch) Italian parsley, washed, spun and chopped. Use more if omitting the mint.
¼ cup mint leaves, washed, spun and chopped –optional. I=
3 scallions or green onions, thinly sliced and chopped
1 cup (or all the seeds from one pomegranate) pomegranate seeds*
½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds or sliced toasted almonds

Cook the freekeh, bulgur or quinoa according to package directions and place in the refrigerator to cool.

To make the dressing combine and whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic in a bowl and whisk. I love my mini whisk for this purpose.

When freekeh or quinoa is cool, add chopped parsley, mint leaves, scallions and pomegranate seeds and dressing. Stir gently to mix ingredients. Chill until ready to serve.

Top with toasted pumpkin seeds when serving.

*How to remove the seeds from the pomegranate. To seed a pomegranate, cut the skin vertically in quarters, then pull it apart. Hold it in a bowl of water and gently pull the white structures apart, dropping the seeds in the bowl. Skim the white bits out. Drain and pat dry to use. To view a video demonstrating how to seed a pomegranate.

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Caprese Salad (Tomato and Mozzarella Salad)

CapreseCaprese salad is a composed salad served as an appetizer. The recipe originated on the island of Capri in the 1950’s and is meant to resemble the colors of the Italian flag. Classically the salad is dressed only with a small drizzle of olive oil. I have had variations that are served with balsamic vinegar and/or use arugula instead of basil. However you prefer, just be sure to use quality ingredients.

Directions 

1 pound fresh good quality mozzarella, cut into ¼ inch slices

3 ripe tomatoes, cut into ¼ inch slices

30 fresh whole basil leaves

Extra-virgin olive oil

Optional: Balsamic vinegar, aged Modena, good quality

On a platter or on individual plates, layer alternating slices of tomatoes,mozzarella and a whole leaf of basil. Drizzle the salad with extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pass balsamic vinegar for those who want it on their salad. Serves 4-6.

Or instead of a composed salad, how about Mini Caprese Skewers as an appetizer?

 

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