This time, the holiday coming up isn’t in Malaysia. Memorial Day is coming up in America, and that means lots of BBQs and picnics.
I have something to add to your picnic. Actually, two recipes to add to your picnic. But, first things first. This beautiful, high protein, quinoa and kidney bean salad.
I’ve actually been wanting to make this for a couple of weeks now. First, I wasn’t able to find quinoa. I usually can find quinoa at the grocery store near where I live, but when a store runs out of something here in KL, it isn’t a matter of days before they stock it again. Sometimes its months. In fact, once, they ran out of almond milk, and didn’t have it again for almost 2 years. Painful, for someone who can’t have real milk or soy!
So, I wasn’t able to make this salad as planned. I decided instead to make this. The recipe calls for cilantro as a garnish, but guess what they didn’t have at the grocery store? So, I substituted Chinese celery, and though it didn’t taste as good, it looked pretty for the photos. Then, I made this. Still no cilantro. At least I was able to get the Chinese celery to at least resemble it for the photos. Over the weekend, I was shopping at another grocery store, and was able to grab some quinoa. But if you cook with fresh herbs as often as I do, your well trained eye will be able to tell that this is Chinese celery, again, and not cilantro in these pictures. If you can get cilantro, I suggest you don’t leave it out.
And if you’re not going on a picnic or having a BBQ this Monday, I still suggest you try this salad. I make this as one of the salads in rotation I make for lunches at work. It’s high protein, easy to make in a big batch, and holds up well in the fridge for 4 or 5 days, making lunches a snap for most of the work week.
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 1 ear of corn, lightly streamed and removed from cob
- 1 (15-oz) can kidney beans
- 2 bell peppers (I used a green and a yellow), diced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- ½ cup carrot, diced
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped finely
- ½ cup salsa (your favorite brand and heat)
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon coriander
- avocado (optional)
- cilantro (optional)
- lime (optional)
- Cook the quinoa per package directions. As soon as the quinoa finishes cooking, pour over a cookie sheet in a thin layer to allow to cool without overcooking or becoming mushy.
- After lightly steaming corn, cool, then remove the corn from the cob.
- In a bowl, add kidney beans and all salad vegetables, including the corn, to a bowl.
- To make the dressing, add all dressing ingredients to a blender, and blend until incorporated. If you don't use a chunky salsa, this might not be necessary.
- Once the quinoa is cooled, add to the salad bowl, and toss with dressing.
- When ready to serve, top with avocado slices, more cilantro, and a squeeze of lime, if you'd like.