Even with fall quickly approaching, I’m not concerned. Temperatures in the San Francisco Bay Area are still hitting the 80s (don’t hate!), so I’m carrying on as if summer was in full swing. One of my new favorite recipes–and one I’ve made nearly every week this summer–is Southwest Quinoa. It’s got a bunch of yummy “Southwest” ingredients that give the overall dish both interest and loads of flavor. It’s also a great make-ahead lunch idea, since it can be eaten straight out of the fridge. No microwaving necessary!
Serves: 8 Ingredients
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp chopped cilantro
- Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained [I use truRoots Organic Quinoa. If your Costco has an organic section, it’s sold there, too!]
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 cobs fresh corn or 1 1/4 cups frozen corn, thawed
- 1 cup cooked black beans, drained [If I don’t cook them myself, I buy Eden Organic Black Beans–the can has a BPA-free lining.]
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 1 large mango
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced (optional if you want a little zing!)
- Buy all organic ingredients if possible. Conventional corn is almost certainly genetically modified, so go for organic. If it’s not in season, check the frozen aisle for organic corn.
- Consider dry-toasting the quinoa with a drizzle of olive oil for about a minute to give it more of a nuttier taste. Red quinoa also has a strong, nutty taste if you want to experiment.
- One cup of quinoa yields 3 cups cooked. Talk about magic. You can also use extra portions later in the week in tabbouleh, chili, fried quinoa (like fried rice), salads, or even crab cakes.
- Southwest quinoa goes great with a side of sliced cucumbers, avocados, leftover mango, or whatever strikes your fancy!