This yummy quinoa and corn salad with toasted pumpkin seeds is a lightened up version of one in the cookbook, Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients, from the editors of Whole Living Magazine. It’s another recipe that’s helped me overcome my initial aversion to quinoa. (Camilla’s Lemony Lentil & Quinoa Salad was the first one.)
Studded with corn, pumpkin seeds, and diced red bell peppers, this Mexican-inspired salad is perfect as a side dish or on it’s own for a delicious light lunch.
Skinny on Lightened Up Quinoa and Corn Salad
It’s important to remember that just because a recipe is full of healthy ingredients, doesn’t guarantee it’s low calorie. This quinoa corn salad is a great example, weighing in with 504 calories and 14 Weight Watchers PointsPlus, mostly because of the overly generous amount of olive oil called for and enormous 2-cup portion size.
So, when I made this recipe last week to accompany the grilled salmon I was having for dinner when my sister and brother-in-law were in town, I did what any responsible food loving Weight Watchers Lifetime member would do 🙂 I slashed the olive oil in half and cut the portion down to a reasonable 1-cup size, turning this into a 190 calorie, 5 PointsPlus value Weight Watchers friendly salad or side dish.
Everyone gave it two thumbs up so it’s going in my “make again” file.
- 2-3/4 cup water
- 1-1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 2 ears corn, kernels cut from the cob
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice (2-3 limes), plus 1 lime cut into wedges for serving
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 3 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
- ⅓ jalapeno chile, diced
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
- 1 ripe, firm avocado
- ¼ cup raw hulled pumpkin seeds, toasted
- 1 head red-leaf lettuce, for serving if desired
- First prepare the quinoa. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in the quinoa and let it return to a boil. Stir, cover and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook until the quinoa has absorbed all the water and is tender, but still chewy, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Place the corn kernels on top of the quinoa, cover the pan and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir corn into quinoa and transfer the mixture to a large bowl to cool.
- While the quinoa is cooking you can prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, chili powder, cumin, garlic, olive oil and ¼ teaspoon salt.
- Add the dressing, red pepper, scallions, jalapeno, and cilantro to the quinoa and corn mixture, tossing until everything is well combined.
- Taste and season with salt if desired.
- When you're ready to serve, cut the avocado in half lengthwise, discard the pit, and then peel the avocado and thinly slice it.
- Line a large platter with the lettuce leaves, if desired. Mound the quinoa salad in the middle of the platter and then arrange the avocado slices and lime wedges on the side. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and serve.
*PointsPlus® for lightened up quinoa and corn salad calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.
*PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT Weight Watchers Zero Points fruits and vegetables using the WW Recipe Builder.
If you liked this post and recipe for lightened up quinoa and corn salad check out these links:
Camilla’s Lemony Lentil & Quinoa Salad (Simple Nourished Living)
Southwest Stoplight Quinoa Salad (Simple Nourished Living)
Quinoa & Shrimp Salad (Weight Watchers)
Quinoa Salad with Zucchini and Lemon (A Veggie Venture)
Tomato Mint Quinoa Salad (LaaLoosh)
Quinoa Spanakopita Salad (Everyday Maven on Edible Mosaic)
Quinoa Shrimp Salad (Chef Laura at Home on Everyday Maven)