Sincerely Carolina

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reader recipe feature: black bean & corn quinoa salad

by caroline

Happy Friday, cupcakes! Today I’m featuring a yummy Black Bean & Corn Quinoa Salad recipe from Katie over at Small’s World. How delish does that sound?! Katie says, “This was one of the first recipes I made after going gluten free, and it is, therefore, one of my favorites. It was the first time I tried to make something I liked from a store. Whole Foods has a version of this, and one night I decided I would make it myself . . . and this recipe was created!”

How many of you have favorite foods from restaurants or stores that you decided to try making at home and found success? One of my latest victories were my Flourless Chocolate Pistachio Cookies. Like Katie, I used to buy a version of these from Whole Foods –– once I did it enough times, I decided it was time to give ’em a go at home!

Anyway, this is a great weekend recipe and it requires minimal requirements and kitchen tools (all you need is a cutting board, medium pot, colander and knife), so you can whip it up in no time!

Get the goods … 


Black Bean and Corn Quinoa Salad (gluten-free and vegetarian; vegan options)



2 cups quinoa
1 red bell pepper, chopped
20 cherry tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
green onions (as desired and optional)
avocado (as desired and optional)
1 15-ounce can of black beans
2.23-oz can of chopped olives (optional)
1-1/2 cups of frozen corn (or one 15-ounce can of of corn)
1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste
crumbled feta cheese (optional)


(1) Add quinoa and 3 cups of water (as opposed to the box’s instructions to use 4 cups of water) to a medium pot, then bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer covered until water has been absorbed, approximately 25-30 minutes. (Tip from Katie: Check quinoa at 15 minutes and then stir in 5-minute increments for remainder of cook time, until water has been absorbed.)

(2) While the quinoa is cooking, cut up the bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, and cilantro, as well as the green onions and avocado. Set chopped ingredients aside. Drain the black beans and olives, and also set aside.

(3) Cook the frozen corn according to the package instructions (or drain the can of corn) and set aside.

(4) Once the water has been absorbed by the quinoa, stir in the apple cider vinegar and cook the quinoa for an additional 4-6 minutes, until all liquid has been absorbed. Remove the quinoa from heat, and let it cool.

(5) After the quinoa has cooled completely, add in the olive oil and salt and mix well. Next, mix in the prepared bell pepper, tomatoes, cilantro, black beans and corn. Top with green onions, avocado, olives and/or feta cheese, as desired.

Katie says: “The best part about this recipe is its versatility. It can be eaten with tortilla chips, corn tortillas, on top of a salad or by itself. It also freezes well, so a large batch can last for some time. Enjoy!”

Finished Recipe

Do you have a yummy gluten-free recipe you want to share on Sincerely Caroline? Email me at with the details!