Quinoa Fiesta Salad

Today is a Secret Recipe Club reveal!

Welcome to July’s SRC  and Group C’s posting day.

Secret Recipe Club

There is always excitement (and yes, a bit of trepidation) when I get Debbi’s email each month with my secret assignment.

Will I get an international blogger?   (Check.   Done that with Tandy at Lavender and Lime and Louise from Lick That Spoon and Manuela from Manu’s Menu).

Will I get a blogger friend’s blog?   (Check.   Done that with Veronica at My Catholic Kitchen.)

Or, will I get the Queen of Blogs, one that is famous in blog circles, whose photos always look perfect, whose recipes are delicious?

Yep, it smooth happened this month.

I got Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake.

I was officially “freaked out.”    I was excited yet petrified.

Everything Liz posts is delicious sounding and she is the supreme baker and treat maker; so much so, that I didn’t think I could hold a candle to her baking and dessert making prowess.      So I chickened out and made a mere salad, but what a salad this is.

Quinoa Fiesta Salad
Slightly adapted from Quinoa and Black Bean Salad from Liz at That Skinny Chick Can Bake

1 c. white quinoa, rinsed and cooked in salted water according to package instructions
1 1/2 T.  red wine vinegar
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 ears of fresh corn on the cob (or 1 ½ c. frozen corn, thawed)
1 large jalapeño, minced (about ¼ cup)
2 small firm avocados, chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
1/3 c. red onion, chopped
1/4 c.  finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 c. cojita cheese, crumbled


6  T.  fresh lime juice
1 t. fine sea salt
1 t. ground cumin
¼ t. ground coriander
1/3 c. olive oil

Cook quinoa using package instructions. Drain and place in large bowl and toss with the vinegar.   Set aside to let cool.

Cut corn off cob and prep other veggies.  (See tip below.)

Add beans, corn, jalapeño, avocados, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and crumbled cojita. Gently toss.

Make dressing by combining lime juice, salt  and spices. Whisk in oil. Drizzle over salad. Toss to combine. Serve at room temperature.   The longer this sets the better it is.

I did dare make a few changes:
I decreased the amount of quinoa, used fresh jalapenos instead of pickled, added cojita and red onion, and increased the lime juice.    I also changed the name to Quinoa Fiesta Salad because of the black beans, jalapenos, corn, cilantro and cojita.

All the veggies (but the avocado, of course) came from the farmer’s market.

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I wanted to show the size of this honkin’ big jalapeno that went into the mix.

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I wish I could say these were garden tomatoes…not from my garden but someone supplied them at the FM.

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Spring red onions from the FM (with just rinsed quinoa).

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I love corn season. Here is a great tip:
Place corn cob in the center of a bundt pan when taking the kernels off the cob. All the kernels fall into the pan. No mess!

The hubs does not care for quinoa too much.   That is one reason I decreased the amount a bit and added more veggies.     After working in the garden all morning one  Saturday, we paused for a lunch of this salad.   His first bite?   “This is really good.”    Second bite?   “No, this is really, really good.”    Third bite?   “Is there some more of this stuff?”    (He just mentioned that I could make this salad again anytime, and this after eating it almost everyday for lunch.)     This is also really good with some chopped leftover grilled chicken.   Yum!

Thank you, Liz for a salad that is a keeper.   (Really, I was totally excited to get your blog this month.   I was just fine after the  first “freak out.”)   And, I do consider you a blogger friend.   Thank you for your regular comments here on my own meager blog.    🙂

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Quinoa Fiesta Salad

So Liz, I have to ask the question that everyone is dying to know the answer to.

How do you stay so skinny with all the desserts you post?   I suspect you feed them to your family and you subsist on great salads like this.

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A perfect skinny lunch on the patio.

Thanks to our SRC hosts Jane,  SarahSuzanne, and the fabulous Group C host, Debbi.  They do a super fantastic job keeping us all organized, informed, and on track!   Thank you, ladies!  (For all my past SRC posts, click here. )

Abigail, here is your virtual flower for the day.

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This is an oak-leaf hydrangea I found on a recent trip to a lovely public garden in Grove, Oklahoma. (More about this later.)

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