Southwestern Quinoa Salad

I made this as a side for dinner one night and ended up eating it for lunch for the next 2 days.  It’s hands-down my absolute favorite way to prepare quinoa right now!  The flavors are still very summery, but hey, when it’s 80 degrees and October then I think it’s all right.

Everything about it tastes so fresh – and it keeps perfectly in the fridge!  It made a perfect quick lunch for me that week.  I’ve also made this with diced Roma tomatoes and I actually do prefer it that way.  I’m not a huge cherry tomato fan but they looked good in the store and I knew they would look pretty in the salad (great reason, right?).  And they do give that added burst of sweetness that goes really well with this salad.

I always seem to come back to my all time favorite flavor combinations – lime, cumin and cilantro.  If your lime is really juicy then you may want to add a little less than called for.  But if you add too much, another splash of olive oil should tone it down.  Just add to your taste.
Southwestern Quinoa Salad

Serving Size: 6

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons red onion, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper

Place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse until the water runs clear. Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Whisk olive oil, lime juice, cumin and 1 teaspoon of salt in a small bowl. Combine quinoa, tomatoes, black beans and red onion together in a separate bowl. Pour dressing over quinoa mixture; toss to coat. Stir in cilantro, season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature or chilled.