Food Friday : Quinoa and Corn Salad

We have heard how very nutritious the grain called Quinoa is and want to include it in our diet. So I set out to make a salad using it along with some of the fresh corn we had tucked in the freezer. And if I do say so myself, the salad turned out to be delicious! Perfect for lunch, either packed for work/school, or served at home. It would also make a nice make-ahead dish to bring to a pot-luck or end of summer barbeque.

Quinoa, which is cooked much like rice, is quite bland on its own so really needs the addition of flavourful additions to make it tasty. What’s the good of a super healthy food if it doesn’t taste very good, right? So in addition to the corn, this salad includes mushrooms sauteed in olive oil and garlic, peppers (both sweet and spicy), herbs and Feta cheese. All are combined with an olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing.

About the fresh herbs, I used oregano, parsley, chives and thyme because I had it available in my garden. But these are optional as I wouldn’t expect you to buy them all just to make this recipe. If you’re going to go with one fresh herb, I’d go with the oregano. The chives can be replaced with finely chopped mild onion.

Note that Quinoa should be rinsed before cooking, as it naturally contains a bitter tasting something that detracts birds from eating it. Most commercially available quinoa has this already removed, but I have read that rinsing before cooking is still recommended. Also note that those grains are tiny and unless you want them to slip through the holes in your colander (don’t ask me how I know this might happen), I recommend using a fine mesh sieve.

To freeze fresh corn niblets, all you do is cook the cobs as usual, And then cut the kernels off the cob and put in a zip-lock freezer bags. Then later when you want a fresh corn taste, just take out the quantity you need. Note that this recipe can also be made with ‘regular’ frozen corn or drained canned corn.

Here are some pictures I took while making the salad:

And here’s the finished product:

After having it pointed out to me that my recipes have not been printer friendly to-date, I am happy to present this week’s food post using a newly installed tool (called ZipList Recipe) that will allow you to easily print it up and save if you’d like. Here goes …

Quinoa and Corn Salad

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


  • - 1 cup Quinoa, rinsed (use a fine mesh sieve or the small grains will fall through the holes)
  • - 2 cups water to cook Quinoa
  • - About 3/4 cups cooked and cooled corn kernals, frozen, canned or fresh. (Since fresh corn sticks together, roughly chopped into small bite sized pieces)
  • - 8 mushrooms thinly sliced
  • - Some red or green bell pepper cut into small cubes, about 2 tablespoons
  • - Some hot spicy pepper cut into small cubes, about 1 teaspoon depending on heat level. Optional
  • - 1 clove garlic, centre core removed and then minced
  • - 1 heaping tablespoon minced green onion, chives, or mild onion
  • - 2 tablespoon of minced fresh herbs. Parsley and oregano leaves are good but if you're only going with one, I'd use oregano.
  • - Optional but delicious : about 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • - Feta cheese, about 2 square inch piece, cut into small cubes. (Optional if you want a vegan version)
  • - 1/4 cup olive oil for the dressing + 2 teaspoons for sauteing the mushrooms
  • - 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
  • - 3/4 teaspoon + a few shakes of salt


Cook Quinoa. I used the microwave oven. Add quinoa and water to a covered baking dish. Microwave on high for 5 minutes and then at 60% for another 9 minutes. Let sit with the lid on until water is absorbed and it has cooled a bit. Remove lid and fluff with a fork.

Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a frying pan and saute garlic and mushrooms. While still hot, add a few shakes of salt and stir in thyme leaves if using. Set aside.

To make dressing, mix olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt and vinegar together.

Fold all ingredients into cooked quinoa and then stir in dressing.

Serve immediately or let it sit for a while. Keeps well in fridge for several days.

That recipe card looks ok to me so hopefully it will work for you. Please let me know how I can improve it if you have any problems.

Here’s hoping Friday has been fine for you so far. It is very gloomy and rainy here. Just in time for the week-end. Phooey.
Thanks for reading my post and I hope you try the recipe.
xo loulou

And because you know I love pictures here’s one more!

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LouLou Links
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6 Responses to Food Friday : Quinoa and Corn Salad

  1. Jenny Lee says:

    I love everything in this and would like to stop by and pick up an order for take out, please.

  2. Quinoa is one of my most favorite things to eat during the week – and seriously 1 cup of it makes enough to last for a few meals. I did a recipe for it awhile back that was very similar, but now I want to try this one. I never put red wine vinegar or thyme and oregano into mine. Sounds delicious! xo Marisa

  3. Quinoa is great, and this recipe looks yummy…healthy and delicious. :)

  4. Martha says:

    First off, thanks for doing the print versions…this is a major plus for me…and now I will be happy to be able to download your tasty creations and add them to my recipe binder :)
    Secondly, I think this salad looks amazing. I know that we need to try to incorporate Quinoa into our diet too so this looks like a delicious solution ;)

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