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
- 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.
- Toss the red onion and jalapeno into a food processor. Mince together and set aside.
- Cut the kernels from the corn. Good luck keeping them contained.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pour in the olive oil and juice from the two limes and stir again.
- Top with the cilantro and cumin and stir.
- Serve immediately or preferably after it has been chilling in the fridge.
Serves 6-8 as a side