Mayan Quinoa

So while this isn’t a taco, it’s definitely something we had with tacos. There is only so much you can do with a taco, but there is a ton you can do with the sides. I wanted something that we might end up having leftovers for lunch. I wanted something light, but filling, and full of fresh flavor. I wanted something with quinoa. Confession: I used to hate dislike corn on the cob [and corn in general] with a fire of a thousand suns. I don’t know why. Then I got braces in my early 20s, and it gave me further reason to avoid the stuff. Then Sweet Tomatoes happened. Some of you might know it as Souplantation. Basically it’s a salad lovers playground. Unlimited salad, soup, and bread [there is pasta, but I’ve never enjoyed it]. I always make the most massive salad, taking a spoonful [or three] of almost every vegetable on the buffet. That includes corn. For some reason, I felt compelled to put its bright yellow kernels upon my heaping salad pile. Every time. Then, I stopped turning it down elsewhere. Now I sometimes buy ears of it. I still don’t eat it off the cob [permanent retainers and all that], but I do cut the kernels off and eat them with reckless abandon [as does Roma because those suckers fly everywhere in the kitchen when this happens].

This is a super simple salad. It takes as long as it does to make up a batch of quinoa. It tastes good as soon as its made, but it tastes even better when it’s had a chance to chill in the fridge. Plan accordingly.

Inspiration: Mayan Couscous


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 clove unpeeled garlic
  • 1 15oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large ear of corn
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small limes
  • 1/2 heaping teaspoon cumin


  1. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly under running water. I place mine in a mesh strainer and go to town. Put the rinsed quinoa on in a pot on the stove. Pour in the water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover with a lid. Set a timer for 15 minutes. When the timer goes off, just turn off the heat and let it sit for another 5-10 minutes before removing the lid and fluffing with a fork.
  2. Toss the red onion and jalapeno into a food processor. Mince together and set aside.
  3. Cut the kernels from the corn. Good luck keeping them contained.
  4. Heat a skillet on medium high heat, and place the unpeeled clove of garlic in it. Flip it occasionally until the peel starts to turn brown/black. Peel and mince the nicely roasted piece of garlic.
  5. Once the quinoa has finished cooking, add it, the onion/jalapeno mix, black beans, corn, and garlic to a large bowl and stir to incorporate.
  6. Pour in the olive oil and juice from the two limes and stir again.
  7. Top with the cilantro and cumin and stir.
  8. Serve immediately or preferably after it has been chilling in the fridge.

Serves 6-8 as a side


5 thoughts on “Mayan Quinoa”

  • You are not the only corn on the cob disliker out there. Couldn’t stand it through my childhood–didn’t help that my parents placed massive amounts of it and I was expected to eat it every lunch and dinner throughout the summer. And wasn’t allowed to slice it off the cob for some weird parental reason. Now I’ll maybe have an ear a summer, but it’s definitely not a favorite. Even off the cob gives me unpleasant flashbacks. Maybe if Sweet Tomatoes would open a place in Nashville already, I’d change my mind. That chain needs to hurry up and get here…

    • Exactly! Maybe it’s weird parental issues that make me dislike the cob so much. I can’t eat it out of a can either (which is what we had 99% of the time growing up). I always insisted there be another vegetable for me during my protests. What kid begs for vegetables? This one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *