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The Pick-Up: Week One CSA Challenge: Quinoa Salad with Cilantro

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My friend Meredith, who teaches power yoga and is a health fanatic, made this salad for an employee party at the YMCA where she works, and it was voted best recipe. It's both healthy (lots of red and orange superfood peppers!) and delicious -- and the recipe makes a vat of salad, so it's great for a party.

The recipe comes from Clean Eating magazine. It called for frozen corn, but I've changed that to fresh. Clean Eating claimed that it took 20 minutes to make this. It took me a whole lot longer. I am not a fast chopper -- and then, I insisted on using fresh corn. 

I used every last leaf of cilantro that came in my CSA share and had just about a cup. Personally, I think I should have used a little more. The cilantro cools the heat of the peppers and adds layers of flavor. But then, I would have had to buy more at the store, and wouldn't that sort of defeat the whole "using things from my CSA" mission? 

QUINOA PARTY SALAD  

2 cups quinoa

1/4 cup olive oil 

Juice of 1 lime 

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Pinch of red pepper flakes

3 cups fresh corn kernals (about 8 small ears), cooked

1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

2 medium orange bell peppers, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, chopped

1 cup fresh cilantro

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

1. Put quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse, draining thoroughly. Bring four cups of water to a boil in a saucepan and then add quinoa, cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook until water is absorbed. (It took 20 minutes for mine.) Let cool. 

2. In a small bowl, make dressing by whisking oil, lime juice, cumin and pepper flakes. Set aside. 

3. In a very large bowl, combine corn, beans, peppers (make sure all are seeded) and cilantro. Add quinoa and stir. Add dressing and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature. 

 

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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