Lime-Chipotle Vinaigrette (see recipe below)
1 cup uncooked Inca Red Quinoa*
2 cups water
1/2 cup Black Valentine Beans, cooked according to package directions**
1 ear of fresh corn, grilled and kernels cut from the husk***
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded, cored, and sliced
1/2 orange bell pepper, seeded, cored, and sliced
1/2 red jalapeno chile peppers, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
* Quinoa (Keen-wah) - An ancient food that has been cultivated in South American Andes since at least 3,000 B.C. and has been a staple food of millions of native inhabitants who called quinoa the "mother grain" and revered it as sacred. Technically quinoa is not a true grain, but is the seed of the Chenopodium or Goosefoot plant. It is used as a grain and substituted for grains because of its cooking characteristics. Quinoa contains more high quality protein than any other grain and it is gluten free. The National Academy of Sciences calls it one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom. To purchase Quinoa, check out What's Cooking America's Cooking Store.
** Heirloom Black Valentine beans are the best black beans available. They are a nice solid bean with a meaty texture and a rich, nutty flavor. If you source them very fresh from a grower, there is no need to soak them before cooking. If using beans older than 1 year, soak the beans for at least 2 hours, or overnight before cooking; drain off soaking water before cooking. Check out Dried Bean Hints and Tips.
*** How To Grill Corn On The Cob.
Prepare Lime-Chipotle Vinaigrette. Prepare the vinaigrette earlier in the day to allow flavors to blend. Stir or shake before serving.
Quinoa has a bitter coating (saponins) which needs to be rinsed away before use. Much of the quinoa sold commercially in North America is processed to remove this coating. However, I always rinse it anyway. I made the mistake of not doing so once and my quinoa tasted very bitter, not at all what I was expecting! I suggest you do this extra step.
Place quinoa and water into a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to low, cover pot, and let simmer until all water is absorbed, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. When done, the grain appears soft and the red becomes translucent. Remove from heat and fluff the quinoa with a fork; set aside and let cool completely.
In a large bowl, combine the cooled quinoa with the black beans, corn kernels, red bell pepper, orange bell pepper, green onions, red pepper flakes, and cilantro leaves. Toss the salad with the prepared Lime-Chipotle Vinaigrette, mixing well.
Refrigerate until ready to serve, but allow to come to room temperature before serving.
Taste and adjust seasonings (if desired), and gently toss the salad one more time.
Garnish with cilantro leaves before serving.
Makes 4 servings.
Lime-Chipotle Vinaigrette Recipe:
1 tablespoon garlic olive oil
Juice from 1 lime
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
Coarse sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
Cilantro leaf for garnish
In a small bowl or small jar with a lid, combine the garlic olive oil, lime juice, cumin, garlic, chipotle powder, salt, and pepper.
Set aside for flavors to blend.