Ever since our trip to DC for the Kids’ State Dinner, I’ve had a list a mile long of things I want to make that we either had on the trip or are recipes in the cookbook (free download here) we received from epicurious showing all the recipes from the other winners. One of the things I’d heard about but had never tried til DC was quinoa. It was in one of the dishes we ate at the White House, and it is now today’s recipe.
A few weeks ago I picked some up and I spent some time reading about what it is, how you cook it (has to be rinsed first in most recipes) and what kinds of things you eat it with. Even though I had the recipe for today’s dish, I actually used it first to make muffins, which four out of five of us liked, so you’ll see that at some point in the future too.
Last week we tried out Haile Thomas’ recipe. Haile is from Arizona and Caroline and I both loved her dish when we had it in DC. Haile is 11, and the cookbook blurb states that they began experimenting with quinoa when the family gave up eating white rice when her dad learned that he was a diabetic.
“The secret to [the recipe's] success is that ‘all the kids love it, the ingredients are affordable, it’s easy to make and it’s just plain good,’” Haile’s mom says in her quote. They say it can be served hot or cold and I agree. We had ours as a side dish with quesadillas and again, the same four out of five of us loved it. I guess quinoa is now going on Alex’s Don’t Like List.
Coincidentally, just as I finished typing this, I found out that Haile is featured in this month’s Food and Flourish Magazine. In fact, she’s not only featured on pages 26-31, but she’s ON THE COVER!
If you haven’t tried quinoa before, I highly recommend it. I’m thrilled to have another healthy option for side dishes with our meals and I’m glad so many of my family members love it!
**Any modifications I had to make for this recipe I have put in parentheses. **
Haile’s Quinoa, Black Bean and Corn Salad
2 (15 ounce) cans of organic black beans (ours weren’t organic) drained and rinsed
4 cups fresh corn (we used a bag of frozen, cooked but not hot)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered (I chopped up a large tomato)
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 medium red onion, chopped (I used half, it was large)
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley (I used dried parsley)
2 avocados, pitted, peeled and cut into cubes
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon halved (mine was bad so I used lemon juice instead)
In a large bowl, combine the black beans, corn, tomatoes, quinoa, cilantro or parsley, red onion, avocados, and olive oil.
Squeeze the lemon halves and add their juice to the bowl.
Toss to combine, then season to taste with salt and serve.
Cook’s note from the Thomas family: To make this dish hot, warm it on the stovetop of in a microwave, or saute all the ingredients together and add the avocados and cilantro or parsley after it’s plated.