I have a deep undying love for the freshness of southwest flavours. Put avocado and cilantro and lime on something and I'm so happy. I know many people don't feel that way, but just have faith.
This is the grain salad I introduce to people who haven't ever made something like this before. Its quick, hearty, fresh tasting and super healthy - not to mention easy enough to throw together on a weeknight! And it makes for good leftovers for lunches (especially if you add the avocado and tomato only as needed - it can get a bit weird if they sit for too long). So it makes for awesome weekend meal prep.
It is quite delicious and well worth a try, even if you aren't used to these flavours.
1.5 cups uncooked bulgar, quinoa or mix of both (or ~3.5 cups uncooked)
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen edamame
1 cup black beans
2 medium tomatoes, chopped in to small bite sized pieces
2 green onions chopped (option to add red onion as well if you like)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro** (I sometimes add more after tasting the mixture)
** If you don't like cilantro, I would encourage you to still try it. Except instead of chopping it, use a blender for the dressing, adding the cilantro to the blender, and cut the portion to 1/4 cup or less if you are really averse to it. By blending the cilantro you lose a lot of that "unique" taste that people either love or hate. I used to hate it and now I love it, our taste buds really do adjust.
1/4 cup olive oil
1-2 limes squeezed
1 tsp white vinegar (or another 1/2 of a lime, if preferred)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp sriracha (don't have it? just add black pepper to taste, but you should get some, because it's so good)
Option to add a small garlic clove if you like raw garlic, but I would mince it and then blend the dressing if you can.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, add grains and cook as directed on your package. (I used President's Choice Blue menu bulgar and quinoa blend, which takes about 10 mins to prepare)
Set a timer for about 3 minutes before you cook time is up - where you will add in the frozen edamame and corn. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Taste for appropriate texture before draining.
Use a strainer and rinse with cold water if the grains are cooked to your liking. If not you could let it steam in the pot with a lid for a few minutes.
While the grains are cooking, prep your vegetables:
Open can of black beans, rinse and drain using the strainer. (Or use frozen black beans and add them in with the edamame)
Chop tomatoes, cilantro, green onions, avocado
Add all of the above to a large bowl and pour the dressing on the mixture and stir well
Now for the most important part: tasting.
Check for salt - if you are unsure how to tell if it needs more salt, add a tiny sprinkle of salt to one spoonful of the mixture and see if makes it taste much better.
If you still feel it is missing something, adding more acid often wakes up the flavours. An extra squeeze of lime or a splash of vinegar often helps
If salt and acid don't seem to be making this dish pop for you, you may want to consider adding some diced red onion, more cilantro, or more sriracha