We are moving around the country to the great state of Arizona with Quinoa, Black Bean and Corn Salad by 11-year-old, Haile Thomas from The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. It’s MyPlate Monday which means United States of MyPlates! I know this isn’t the prettiest of pictures, but it’s the one the kids wanted for this recipe, their creativity is inspired our flowers that will soon be blooming!
It’s easy to see why this recipe came out of the Southwest, with cilantro, black beans, avocado and corn. I happen to think this side dish could really go with anything. We tried it in tacos and as part of a taco turkey salad. Even my husband said this recipe is a true make-again recipe. And I know it would be great in a wrap or along side your grilled chicken, beef, pork or seafood. As a taco salad, all I did was add cooked turkey breast that I had diced and added taco seasoning to while it was warming in the pan. Serve on Romaine lettuce with crushed whole grain chips.
After making it into a side dish of its own, my son couldn’t stop asking “Can I have more?” Well, of course you can!
Avocados are a gem in this recipe with all their healthy fat. And did you know that avocado’s smooth creamy consistency makes it one of the first fresh fruits a baby can enjoy? (On its own!). And there is a five-minute avocado baby food recipe at one of my favorite go-to sites www.avocadocentral.com.
My kids had fun making this recipe but the key for me after teaching over 150 kids cooking classes, is to have the ingredients organized and ready to go. Because the weather just got warmer today, (it is Minnesota!) I knew they would want to get back outside and that’s okay. Adding ingredients, stirring what’s in the bowl, making the marinade…all quick and easy jobs kids can do.
I altered the recipe from the original by adjusting the ingredient amounts and using what I had on hand – go with the flow!
Quinoa, Black Bean and Corn Salad
Adapted from The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge Cookbook, submitted by Haile Thomas of Arizona.
Makes 6 servings.
1 cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed
1 cup drained petite diced tomatoes
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/3 cup chopped sweet yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 avocado, sliced or diced
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
1 lemon, juiced
Salt, to taste
1. In a large bowl, combine beans, corn, tomatoes, quinoa, onion and cilantro. Stir together.
2. Gently stir in avocado.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together oil and lemon juice. Pour over salad mixture. Serve immediately or let sit in refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving to enhance flavors.
Also great with the corn and onion sautéed and then added to the salad. Make it a MyPlate meal by adding a glass of milk, serving alongside some protein (chicken, fish, turkey, pork or beef all would work great) and some fresh berries which are a big hit in my house right now!
MyCart Shopping Tip: Buying a ripe avocado is as easy giving it a little squeeze since color is not a good indicator. Check the ripening guide where you will learn that when an avocado yields to light and gentle pressure, it is ripe and ready to eat. And knowing how to peel it is a cinch with this tutorial.
Husband: Absolutely loved it – gave it a 5
Adventurous Son: 5
Cautious Daughter: 4