I realllly wanted to call this salad The Best Summer Quinoa Salad Ever, but that was too ambiguous. Or even Quinoa, Kale, Black Bean, Avocado, Tomato, Onion, Hot Pepper, Corn Salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette but that just seemed like too long of a name and you would probably would have stopped reading then. So just go with it.
Anyway, I love a good summery salad. Something with a good light vinaigrette, add in corn and avocado and I’m sold. So when I realized we had pretty much all of my favorite ingredients for a salad thanks to our Fresh Fork CSA and some farmer’s market finds, I knew I had to just put it all together and make the best summer salad ever. Add in some quinoa and a can of black beans and it was perfect for a vegetarian main meal. Oh yeah – even B ate it as a main dish without meat. That’s how I know it’s a success.
Don’t be fooled by the name, I may just be making this salad this fall and winter too. Because we all need some summer meals all year round, don’t we?
Kale, Quinoa and Black Bean Salad
Here’s what you need:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/3 olive oil (divided)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 hungarian hot peppers or jalapenos, diced
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cup water
- 1 lemon
- 1 tsp cumin
- 3 c. thinly chopped raw kale leaves
- 1 c corn (approximately one giant cob)
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 1 avocado, chopped into cubes
Here’s what you do:
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion and hot pepper, and saute for about 3-4 minutes. I also added a few slices of kale, but feel free to use all the kale in step #4 and keep it raw.
- Add quinoa and two cups water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
- While quinoa is cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients for the salad. First prepare the dressing. Mix 1/4 c lemon juice (about one whole lemon) with 1/3 cup olive oil and cumin.
- Finely chop the kale (remove the large thick middle stems from the leaves and then roll up kale into rods before finely chopping) and add to the salad dressing. Coat kale thoroughly in dressing. Add in corn and black beans.
- By now the quinoa should be nearly done cooking. After letting cool for a minute, add cooked quinoa, onion and pepper to kale, corn and tomato. Mix well. Gently add in chopped tomato. Just before serving, add in avocado.
- Enjoy! Mine made 3-4 vegetarian main dishes.
Week Three of Fresh Fork was great! I’m so excited to be getting all of this fresh produce and meat each week and not have to plan meals. It’s so easy to just use what I have as opposed to making a trip to the grocery store to pick everything up. Yup, I’m drinking the Koolaid.
closeup of B’s favorites – the cheese, corn chips (“crackers”) and ground beef
check it out! More strawberries, plus lettuce, RADISHES, cilantro and some more yum yums
Can’t tell from the picture what we got? Week Three included:
- 1 lb grassfed ground beef
- 1 bag heirloom corn chips
- 1 piece, 6 oz, aged sharp cheddar (called Hull’s Trace)
- 1 bunch swiss chard
- 1 head green leaf lettuce
- 1 bunch radishes
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 2 ct zucchini
- 1 quart strawberries
So what did we make this week?
- Corn chips: Were eaten with the sharp cheddar (B liked, but I wasn’t a huge fan. I prefer less sharp -softer?-cheese) and we also ate with the corn, onion, tomato and cilantro salsa.
- Grassfed beef: B made some burgers on our grill over the weekend. I had turkey burgers, but had a bite of the grassfed beef and was pleased – it seemed pretty good!
- Lettuce and radishes: used for salads and snacks. I LOVE radishes just cut up as a snack so those were gone immediately.
- Swiss chard: I cooked it up and we had it for dinner one night with some chicken I marinated. B liked it a lot!
- Zucchini: I roasted some to serve with the chard and chicken.
Chicken, zucchini, swiss chard and lentils
- Cilantro: This was a tough one because B is not a huge cilantro fan. So I put it on a few salads and added it to a few dishes that I was eating on my own. I did make a salsa to serve with our burgers and chips with some cilantro that was pretty good. That sorta/not-really-a-recipe is below.
Tomato, Corn, Onion and Cilantro Salsa
Here’s what you need:
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 ish Tablespoons of red wine vinegar
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp lemon or lime juice (I bet lime would be great! I used lemon. Because that’s what I had on hand)
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 15 oz can of corn (or if you want you can grill up some corn on the cob and use about 2 cobs worth of corn!)
- As much cilantro as your heart desires (if you’re like B, the answer is none. If you’re like me, it’s more like 2 bunches…only sorta kidding)
Here’s what you do:
- In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, lemon juice and minced garlic.
- Finely chop onion and tomatoes. Taste the onion – if it’s too spicy (B thinks that red onions can be too spicy at times) soak it in ice water for a little while.
- Combine chopped onion, tomatoes, and corn. Mix with dressing.
- Add cilantro to taste.
- You’re done – enjoy! It’s a nice refreshing salad that we served with our grilled burgers and corn chips.
Optional: Chop up 1-2 avocados and add those as well.
For other Fresh Fork Recaps: