One of my favorite summer side dishes

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navigator9

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I thought I'd post one of my favorite summer side dishes. When it gets too hot to do much cooking, it's nice to have something handy in the fridge that you can grab to make a meal by adding a piece of grilled chicken or fish. I make this many times over the summer and never seem to get tired of it. The recipe is pretty loose, adjust it to your taste.

Quinoa, Black Bean and Corn Salad
Cook 1 1/2 cups of quinoa
While the quinoa is cooking, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to a large bowl that you'll be mixing the salad in. Mince or grate some garlic and add it to the oil, so that it can flavor the oil by the time the quinoa is done. I also add some cumin at this time, but if you don't like cumin, you can leave it out. When the quinoa is done, drain it, add it while still hot, to the oil mixture, and stir well. Add the juice of three, freshly squeezed limes and stir well. When the quinoa cools, add the following.
Diced onion, I add half of a really large Vidalia
One diced red bell pepper
One 15 oz can of rinsed and drained black beans
One 15 oz can of corn ( if you want to roast some corn on the grill and use that instead, it's even better )
A handful of chopped cilantro

I've also thrown in some sliced cherry tomatoes and diced avocados, and that was really good too. I hope you enjoy it!

quinoa.jpg
 

DeeAnna

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Yum. This looks good. Do you have a preference for the kind of quinoa you like best in this? I've seen several colors, and I'm never quite sure which one I should use for what kind of dish.
 

navigator9

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Yum. This looks good. Do you have a preference for the kind of quinoa you like best in this? I've seen several colors, and I'm never quite sure which one I should use for what kind of dish.
I don't have a preference, DeeAnna. I've tried several different brands/colors, and haven't noticed a difference, honestly. Like DixieDragon, these days I buy the big bag from Costco. I love to eat healthy, but it has to taste good too, and this one really does. I also make a cold lentil salad in the summer, with many of the same ingredients, but also chick peas and cucumber, and instead of cilantro, I use the entire bunch of parsley, so it reminds me a lot of tabbouleh, which I also make a lot. I love them all, bulgur, lentils, quinoa, farro...they're such a good background for all the great summer veggies.
 

DeeAnna

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Hey, thanks, Navigator and Dixie, for the feedback -- I won't stress about it anymore. I live about 2 hours from the nearest Costco so I get to shop there once in a blue moon. The quinoa I find locally is usually Bobs Red Mill brand -- I bet I pay more than you do. :)
 
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Susie

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I don't have a preference, DeeAnna. I've tried several different brands/colors, and haven't noticed a difference, honestly. Like DixieDragon, these days I buy the big bag from Costco. I love to eat healthy, but it has to taste good too, and this one really does. I also make a cold lentil salad in the summer, with many of the same ingredients, but also chick peas and cucumber, and instead of cilantro, I use the entire bunch of parsley, so it reminds me a lot of tabbouleh, which I also make a lot. I love them all, bulgur, lentils, quinoa, farro...they're such a good background for all the great summer veggies.
Can you share the recipes for the others, please? While my hubby is not fond of the price of the quinoa, lentils are cheap, and yummy. I have no idea where the closest Costco is, but I can guarantee it is at least 3 hours from here.
 

navigator9

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Can you share the recipes for the others, please? While my hubby is not fond of the price of the quinoa, lentils are cheap, and yummy. I have no idea where the closest Costco is, but I can guarantee it is at least 3 hours from here.
Here you go, Susie. I hope you enjoy them. My recipes are pretty loose, I go by taste, and what I have on hand.

Tabouleh
(traditional tabouleh uses mint, too, but I leave it out because I'm not fond of it in savory dishes)

1 T olive oil
juice of 2 lemons
cumin to taste
3 cloves crushed garlic
Mix these together in a large bowl.

Add 1 cup bulgur to 2 cups cold water. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer for 12 - 15 minutes or until tender. Drain off excess liquid. Makes 2 to 2-1/2 cups cooked bulgur. Toss with dressing while bulgur is still warm. When cool, add 1 bunch of parsley (the entire bunch that you find in the produce department, I use stems and all), chopped, 1 cucumber chopped, and three tomatoes, chopped. Toss again.


Cold Lentil Salad
This recipe is all "to taste".........and it makes lots, you can always cut it in half.

1 bag of lentils
1 can of chickpeas
olive oil
apple cider vinegar or
lemon juice
garlic
cumin
parsley (I use a whole bunch)
scallions
red onion, diced
red bell pepper, diced
cucumber, diced

In a large bowl, make the dressing using oil, vinegar, lemon juice, crushed garlic and cumin. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook the lentils until tender, but not mushy, slightly al dente. Drain the lentils and while still warm, toss with the dressing. When the lentils cool, add the drained chickpeas. Chop the vegetables, add to the lentils and chickpeas, and stir well. May be served with some feta cheese crumbled on top.
 

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