Quinoa Salad with Corn, Tomatoes and Avocado Recipe

This refreshing quinoa salad combines the sweetness of corn and tomatoes with the creaminess of avocado. It's a delicious, healthy dish that is full of flavor and easy to prepare. The salad is perfect for a light lunch or as a side dish at dinner. The lime juice and cilantro give it a nice zesty kick. Whether you're a fan of quinoa or new to the grain, you're sure to love this salad.

Quinoa Salad with Corn, Tomatoes and Avocado Recipe

The ingredients for this recipe are fairly common and should be easy to find at your local supermarket. If you're unfamiliar with quinoa, it's a grain that's high in protein and fiber. You can find it in the rice and grains aisle. As for the jalapeno pepper, it will be located in the produce section, however, if you're sensitive to spice, you can always omit it or use less.

Ingredients for Quinoa Salad with Corn, Tomatoes, and Avocado

Extra virgin olive oil: This is used to cook the onions and quinoa, and a little is added to the salad for taste.

Yellow onion: Adds a slight sweetness to the quinoa.

Quinoa: A grain that's high in protein and fiber.

Vegetable broth: Used to cook the quinoa, it adds a bit of flavor.

Salt: Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.

Tomatoes: Add freshness and color to the salad.

Cooked corn: Adds sweetness and a bit of crunch.

Scallions: Provide a mild onion flavor.

Jalapeno pepper: Adds a bit of heat to the salad, but can be omitted if you prefer less spice.

Fresh cilantro: Gives the salad a fresh, herbal flavor.

Lime juice: Adds a bit of acidity to balance the flavors.

Avocado: Adds creaminess and richness to the salad.

One reader, Hercules Osborn says:

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This quinoa salad is a game-changer! The combination of fresh ingredients creates a burst of flavors and textures. The creamy avocado perfectly complements the sweet corn and juicy tomatoes. It's a healthy and satisfying dish that's perfect for any occasion. Highly recommend trying it out!

Hercules Osborn

Techniques for Making the Perfect Quinoa Salad

How to cook quinoa: Quinoa should be rinsed thoroughly in a fine mesh strainer before cooking to remove its natural coating, which can make it taste bitter or soapy. Use a 1:2 ratio of quinoa to water or broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.

How to handle jalapeño peppers: When handling jalapeño peppers, it's important to wear gloves to protect your skin from the capsaicin, which can cause irritation. If gloves are not available, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling the peppers and avoid touching your face or eyes.

How to cut an avocado: Cut the avocado in half lengthwise, around the pit. Twist the two halves in opposite directions to separate. Carefully strike the pit with a knife blade to embed it, then twist and remove. Use a spoon to scoop the flesh from the skin, then slice or dice as desired.

How To Make Quinoa Salad with Corn, Tomatoes and Avocado

Make lunch meals healthier with a bowl of this low-fat quinoa salad, packed with crunchy corn, juicy tomatoes, and jalapeño pepper, tossed in lime dressing!

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
Total: 50 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 2tbspextra virgin olive oil
  • ½cupyellow onion
  • 1cupquinoa,pre-washed
  • 1⅔cupvegetable broth,low sodium
  • 1tspsalt,divided
  • 1cuptomatoes
  • cupcorn,cooked
  • 2scallions,white and green parts, finely sliced
  • 1small jalapeño pepper,seeded, finely chopped
  • cupfresh cilantro,chopped
  • 2tbsplime juice
  • 1avocado,cut into bite-sized chunks

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent.

  2. Add the quinoa to the onions and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and stir in ½ teaspoon salt. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil.

  3. Cover the pan tightly with a lid, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 17 to 20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is cooked.

  4. Transfer the cooked quinoa to a mixing bowl and chill in the refrigerator.

  5. When the quinoa is cool, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, tomatoes, corn, scallions, jalapeno, cilantro, remaining ½ teaspoon salt and lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

  6. Right before serving, scatter the avocado chunks over top.

  7. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Calories: 376.56kcal
  • Fat: 17.70g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.51g
  • Trans Fat: 0.00g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 10.81g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.39g
  • Carbohydrates: 49.25g
  • Fiber: 9.75g
  • Sugar: 8.41g
  • Protein: 10.27g
  • Sodium: 619.21mg
  • Calcium: 58.21mg
  • Potassium: 1035.66mg
  • Iron: 3.11mg
  • Vitamin A: 83.70µg
  • Vitamin C: 37.45mg

Pro Tip for Enhancing Flavors in Quinoa Salad

To ensure your quinoa is fluffy and not clumpy, after it's cooked, spread it out on a baking sheet to cool. This will prevent the grains from sticking together and will give your salad a light, airy texture. Additionally, when adding the avocado, make sure it's ripe but still firm. A mushy avocado will not hold its shape in the salad.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Quinoa Salad

Prep ahead: Cook the quinoa and chop the vegetables in advance to save time when assembling the salad.

Use frozen corn: Instead of cooking fresh corn, use frozen corn kernels to save time and effort.

Multi-task: While the quinoa is cooking, chop the vegetables and prepare the dressing to streamline the process.

Invest in a good knife: A sharp, quality knife will make chopping and prepping ingredients quicker and more efficient.

Batch cooking: Make a larger portion of the salad and store it in the fridge for quick and easy meals throughout the week.

Organize your workspace: Before you start, make sure all your ingredients and tools are easily accessible to avoid wasting time searching for items.

Substitute Ingredients For Quinoa Salad with Corn, Tomatoes and Avocado Recipe

  • quinoa - Substitute with bulgur: Bulgur has a similar nutty flavor and chewy texture, making it a suitable substitute for quinoa in this salad.

  • vegetable broth - Substitute with chicken broth: Chicken broth can add a savory depth of flavor to the salad, complementing the other ingredients well.

  • tomatoes - Substitute with bell peppers: Bell peppers can provide a similar juicy crunch and vibrant color to the salad, adding a different dimension of flavor.

  • corn - Substitute with edamame: Edamame can offer a similar pop of sweetness and texture, while also providing a boost of protein to the salad.

  • jalapeno pepper - Substitute with red chili flakes: Red chili flakes can add a spicy kick to the salad, similar to the heat from jalapeno peppers.

  • lime juice - Substitute with lemon juice: Lemon juice can provide a tangy acidity that complements the other ingredients, adding a refreshing zing to the salad.

Presentation Tips for a Stunning Quinoa Salad

  1. Elevate the quinoa: Mold the chilled quinoa into a ring mold for a refined presentation. This will give the dish a professional and elegant look.

  2. Garnish with avocado slices: Thinly slice the avocado and fan it out on top of the quinoa salad. This will add a touch of sophistication and visual appeal to the dish.

  3. Create a colorful arrangement: Arrange the tomatoes and corn in a visually appealing pattern around the quinoa. This will create a vibrant and appetizing presentation.

  4. Drizzle with cilantro-infused oil: Use a small squeeze bottle to drizzle cilantro-infused oil around the plate for an artistic touch. This will add a burst of flavor and a beautiful finishing touch to the dish.

  5. Use microgreens as a finishing touch: Sprinkle a few delicate microgreens over the top of the quinoa salad for a pop of color and a touch of elegance. This will add a fresh and sophisticated element to the presentation.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Quinoa Salad

  • Medium sauce pan: A medium sauce pan is essential for cooking the quinoa and onions over medium-low heat.

  • Mixing bowl: A mixing bowl is used to combine the cooked quinoa with the remaining ingredients to create the salad.

  • Knife: A knife is necessary for chopping the vegetables and avocado.

  • Cutting board: A cutting board provides a stable surface for chopping and preparing the vegetables and avocado.

  • Lid: A lid is used to cover the sauce pan while simmering the quinoa.

  • Citrus juicer: A citrus juicer can be used to extract the lime juice for the salad.

  • Measuring cups and spoons: Measuring cups and spoons are used to accurately measure the ingredients for the recipe.

  • Vegetable peeler: A vegetable peeler can be used to peel and prepare the avocado.

  • Gloves: Gloves can be used when handling the jalapeno pepper to protect the skin from irritation.

  • Spatula: A spatula can be used for stirring the quinoa and vegetables while cooking.

Storage and Freezing Guidelines for Quinoa Salad

  • This quinoa salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. The flavors will meld together and intensify over time, making it a great option for meal prepping or enjoying leftovers.

  • If you plan to store the salad for more than a day, it's best to add the avocado just before serving to prevent it from turning brown and mushy. You can store the avocado separately or add a squeeze of lime juice to help preserve its color.

  • For longer storage, you can freeze the quinoa salad without the avocado and fresh herbs. Allow the salad to cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or resealable bag. Remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.

  • When ready to enjoy the frozen salad, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. Once thawed, give the salad a good stir and add freshly chopped avocado, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice to refresh the flavors.

  • If the salad seems a bit dry after thawing, you can drizzle a little extra olive oil or lime juice to help revive the texture and taste.

How To Reheat Leftover Quinoa Salad

  • The best way to reheat leftover quinoa salad is to simply remove it from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. This will allow the flavors to meld together and the quinoa to soften slightly, making it more enjoyable to eat.
  • If you prefer your quinoa salad slightly warm, you can reheat it gently in the microwave. Place the desired amount in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it on high for 30-45 seconds, stirring halfway through. Be careful not to overheat it, as this can cause the quinoa to become mushy and the vegetables to lose their texture.
  • Another option is to reheat the quinoa salad in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add a small amount of olive oil or water to the pan to prevent sticking and gently stir the salad until it is heated through. This method will help to crisp up the vegetables slightly and give the quinoa a slightly toasted flavor.
  • If you have any leftover avocado, it's best to add it fresh just before serving. Avocado can become brown and mushy when reheated, so adding it fresh will ensure that it stays creamy and delicious.
  • Lastly, if you want to get creative with your leftover quinoa salad, try using it as a filling for stuffed peppers or lettuce wraps. Simply reheat the salad as desired and spoon it into the pepper halves or lettuce leaves for a tasty and satisfying meal.

Interesting Trivia About Quinoa Salad Ingredients

The quinoa salad with corn, tomatoes, and avocado recipe is a nutritious and versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a main course or a side dish. Quinoa is a complete protein, providing all nine essential amino acids, and it pairs beautifully with the sweetness of corn, the acidity of tomatoes, and the creaminess of avocado. This dish is not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients, making it a great addition to a balanced diet. Additionally, quinoa is a gluten-free grain, making this salad suitable for individuals with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Budget-Friendly: Making Quinoa Salad at Home

This quinoa salad with corn, tomatoes, and avocado recipe is highly cost-effective for a household. Quinoa, a versatile and nutritious grain, is a budget-friendly staple. Paired with affordable ingredients like corn, tomatoes, and avocado, this recipe offers a healthy and economical meal option. The total cost for a household of 4 people is approximately $10-$12, making it a budget-friendly choice. The dish's vibrant flavors and nutritional value make it a solid 9/10.

Is This Quinoa Salad Recipe Healthy?

This quinoa salad recipe is a nutritious and well-balanced dish, packed with wholesome ingredients. Here's why:

  • Quinoa is a superfood grain, rich in protein, fiber, and essential minerals like iron and magnesium
  • The recipe includes a variety of colorful vegetables, providing a wide range of vitamins, antioxidants, and phytochemicals
  • Healthy fats from olive oil and avocado promote heart health and aid in nutrient absorption
  • The use of low-sodium vegetable broth helps control salt intake
  • Fresh herbs and lime juice add flavor without relying on excessive salt or unhealthy additives

While this salad is already quite healthy, there are a few tweaks that could boost its nutritional value even further.

  • Increase the proportion of vegetables to quinoa for added fiber, vitamins, and minerals
  • Incorporate a wider variety of veggies, such as bell peppers, cucumbers, or leafy greens like spinach or kale
  • Experiment with different types of quinoa, like red or black, for a broader spectrum of antioxidants
  • Add a source of lean protein, such as grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu, to make it a more complete meal
  • Sprinkle some nuts or seeds, like almonds or pumpkin seeds, for an extra crunch and a dose of healthy fats and minerals

Editor's Opinion: Why This Quinoa Salad Recipe Stands Out

This quinoa salad with corn, tomatoes, and avocado is a delightful blend of flavors and textures. The quinoa is perfectly cooked and infused with the vibrant colors and freshness of the vegetables. The combination of sweet corn, juicy tomatoes, creamy avocado, and zesty lime juice creates a harmonious balance. The addition of jalapeno adds a subtle kick, while the cilantro provides a refreshing herbal note. This salad is a versatile and nutritious dish that can be enjoyed as a light lunch or a flavorful side. It's a true celebration of seasonal produce and a delightful addition to any meal.

Why trust this Quinoa Salad with Corn, Tomatoes and Avocado Recipe:

This recipe offers a delightful combination of fresh and wholesome ingredients. The quinoa provides a nutritious base, while the addition of tomatoes, corn, and avocado infuses the dish with vibrant flavors and textures. The use of lime juice and cilantro adds a zesty and aromatic touch, enhancing the overall appeal. The careful instructions and attention to detail demonstrate a commitment to quality and taste. Trust in the simplicity and balance of this recipe, as it promises a satisfying and delicious quinoa salad experience.

Want to share your experience making this Quinoa Salad with Corn, Tomatoes and Avocado Recipe or discuss variations and tips? Join the conversation in the Recipe Sharing forum!
FAQ:
How long does it take to make this quinoa salad?
The quinoa salad takes about 30-40 minutes to prepare, including the time to cook the quinoa and allow it to cool before mixing in the other ingredients.
Can I make this salad ahead of time?
Yes, you can make this salad ahead of time. In fact, it's best to let the flavors meld together by chilling the salad in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.
Can I substitute the vegetable broth with chicken broth?
Absolutely, you can substitute the vegetable broth with chicken broth if you prefer. It will add a slightly different flavor to the quinoa, but it will still be delicious.
How long can I store the quinoa salad?
The quinoa salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Just be sure to give it a good stir before serving, as the ingredients may settle.
Can I omit the jalapeno if I don't like spicy food?
Of course! If you prefer a milder flavor, feel free to omit the jalapeno. The salad will still be flavorful with the other ingredients.

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