Santa Fe Quinoa Salad

I really like quinoa. Its a neat little ancient grain that is packed with nutrients and it tastes delicious. And it’s crazy versatile. You can bake with it, eat it like rice, make a salad with it…the list goes on. It stores well, too, so it’s a great addition to anyone’s food storage if you’re looking for options.

This salad is one of my favourite ways to eat quinoa. It can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, so I like to make a big batch and then portion it out for lunches. I’ve found the longer it sits, the better the flavour.  It’s also really *really* good with a piece of lemon dill salmon baked in the oven. Then when you’re packing your lunch you can put the piece of salmon on top of the salad and eat it for lunch later on. And it’s delightful.
Usually I add corn to this one, which makes it a little more Santa Fe-ish, but I didn’t have any on hand.
You can also play around with dressings, too. I usually do a citrus dressing on this one, it makes the flavours of the veggies stand out so nicely,


This Culinary Curiosity

and gives it a nice sweet accent. I’ve also done a Dijon vinaigrette which is really nice and zippy too. Bottom line, a really bright dressing is important with this salad to tie it all together.

This time I baked some chicken breasts in olive oil with a Southwestern seasoning mix and steamed some broccoli. It was a delicious, healthy meal that’s perfect for the summer time!
I also buy my quinoa in bulk, so I’m including the instructions to cook it below. If you buy packaged quinoa, follow the cooking instructions on the box. I would recommend making sure the quinoa you buy doesn’t have any added flavours or spices as it’ll alter the end result.

This Culinary Curiosity | Santa Fe Quinoa Salad

Santa Fe Quinoa Salad

Prep: 15 min Cook: 15 min Chill: 20 min
Serves: 6 people
For the Salad:
  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 red sweet bell pepper, diced
  • 1 English cucumber, chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion diced small
  •  1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn OR 1 cup frozen corn cooked
For the dressing:
  • 3 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp Orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
For the Salad:
  1. To cook the quinoa: cook quinoa and water on high heat until it begins to boil, stirring occasionally. Once the water is boiling, reduce heat to low and cover for 15 min. After 15 min remove from heat and let sit for 5 min with the lid on to steam. Remove lid and fluff, transfer to salad bowl. **I usually pop the quinoa into the freezer at this point while I prep the other ingredients to let it cool down so that it doesn’t warm up the whole salad.**
  2. Once quinoa is chilled, combine with other ingredients and dressing and toss thoroughly, stirring gently to avoid crushing beans.
  3. Cover and refrigerate to allow flavours to combine.
For Dressing:
1. Combine ingredients and whisk to emulsify. Add to salad. Enjoy!