I don’t know about you, but I can pretty much count on the same old salads at a potluck. You know the kind – the pink fluff, green salad, potato or a pasta. Perk up your Potluck's this summer with a healthy and delicious Southwest Multi-Grain Salad! This salad is packed with quinoa, brown rice and a little orzo pasta making it high in fiber, low in fat, and full of flavor.
Yields: 8-10 Servings
⅓ cup red or black quinoa (may substitute regular quinoa)
2 cups chicken broth
⅔ cup instant brown rice
⅓ cup dry orzo pasta
1 can (15-oz) black beans
1 can (15-oz) corn
⅔ cup chopped red bell pepper
¼ cup sliced green onions or chopped red onion, to taste
¾ cup crumbled cheese (feta, mozzarella, queso fresco)
1 avocado, optional
Rinse quinoa under cold water, if directed on package. Place quinoa and broth in saucepan, bring to a boil, add brown rice and orzo pasta; bring back to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until moisture is absorbed (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and cool.
Drain corn; drain and rinse black beans; chop pepper, onion and cilantro; add to grains and toss.
Whisk together lime juice, olive oil, cumin, chili powder, and garlic/onion seasoning and a pinch of sugar. Drizzle half the dressing over salad and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper and pinch of cayenne pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 1-hour or overnight.
Before serving, toss salad with remaining dressing to taste. Top with chopped tomato and crumbled cheese. Garnish with cilantro leaves and a slice of avocado.
Quinoa is an ancient grain grown in South America, mainly in the mountains of Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru. It is a complete protein, excellent source of fiber and is a good source of vitamins B6 and E.
Purchase quinoa in the rice and grain section of the grocery store. It comes red, black, white, pre-washed, seasoned – multiple choices. If you haven’t tried cooking with quinoa now is a good time to try it out
Quinoa has a natural coating on each grain that is bitter to the taste which protects it from being eaten by birds. This is why it’s important to wash rinse it.
Orzo means short cut. It is a grain cooking small pasta. If you prefer, you may substitute additional brown rice for the orzo in this salad.