Black bean, corn and quinoa salad (reminiscing over NYC)

I never liked corn in my salads before trying the “Aztec salad” in an amazing vegan restaurant called Candle Café in NYC during my quick holiday there a couple of weeks ago. In their salad, the corn was accompanied with some of my favourite ingredients; black beans, quinoa and (barbecued) tempeh along with some leafy greens, avocado, pumpkin seeds and a cumin dressing. The combo was a total bomb and probably changed my opinion on corn forever. So getting back home, and reminiscing over my lovely trip, I decided to make something similar. I kept the basics; corn, black beans, quinoa and tempeh while omitting everything else and adding a bunch of other ingredients to create an even more nourishing bowl of goodness. It’s not quite like the dish it was inspired by with all the different marinades and dressings and omissions and additions, but I promise it will be delicious. And more of a #blueberryboost salad.

My version of the salad is best served with smoked tempeh (which I buy from a local health food store) or smoked paprika marinated tempeh, the recipe of which you can find below. I also like to add a big dollop of my favourite  homemade spicy hummus, called “Healing” Hummus because it contains turmeric among other spices (recipe below). Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powers and it is said to fight cancer, ease stomach problems and prevent diabetes. Both the marinated tempeh and the hummus can be enjoyed with various other dishes too, and you can use the same marinade for tofu also.


Black bean, corn and quinoa salad

Serves 1 hungry person

What you will need:

1/2dl uncooked quinoa

a big handful of raw silverbeet (chard) or baby spinach leaves

a small purple cabbage leaf

1/2 of a small zucchini

1/2 can of pre-cooked black beans (400g undrained weight)

1 small can of pre-cooked corn (280g undrained weight)

100-120g smoked tempeh or smoked paprika marinated tempeh

a dollop of Healing hummus

lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and Himalayan salt for seasoning (to taste)

seeds and sprouts to top with (I used sesame and hemp seeds + sunflower sprouts)


Smoked paprika tempeh (or tofu)

What you will need:

250-270g tempeh (or tofu)

1tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1tsp smoked paprika

1/2tsp ground cumin

1/2tsp ground coriander


Healing Hummus

What you will need:

1 can of pre-cooked chickpeas (400g undrained weight)

1 big tbsp tahini (sesame seed butter, I use salted for hummus)

1tbsp lemon juice

1tsp extra virgin olive oil

1tsp ground cumin

1/2tsp paprika (sweet not spicy)

1/2tsp turmeric

1/2tsp granulated garlic

water to thin if needed

Himalayan salt to taste if using unsalted tahini


How to do it:


  • Rinse your quinoa and cook it according to package instructions (15-20mins in boiling water).
  • In the meanwhile, rinse your pre-cooked black beans and corn. Also rinse your vegetables and leafy greens.
  • Cut your raw zucchini “julienne” style and slice your red cabbage into long, thin slices. If using silverbeet, remove the hard stems and tear the big leaves into bit-sized slices.
  • Arrange your salad on a big bowl like in the picture above, or simply just mix everything together.
  • Season with lemon juice, EVOO and Himalayan salt, top with sprouts and seeds if you wish.
  • Serve with tempeh and a dollop of Healing hummus. Enjoy!

Smoked paprika tempeh (or tofu):

  • Cut your tempeh or tofu into cubes or slices (whichever you prefer).
  • Mix all the marinade ingredients and toss all over the tempeh or tofu.
  • Place in the fridge in an airtight container for at least an hour to marinate.
  • Cook your tempeh or tofu on the pan until lightly browned and crispy.

Healing Hummus:

  • Simply process all your ingredients in a food processor or with a hand blender until smooth – add water if needed (I added 1/2dl). *Tip: try processing a medium cooked beetroot with your other hummus ingredients to make beet hummus – delicious!* Store in the fridge in an airtight jar!

xx a

2 thoughts on “Black bean, corn and quinoa salad (reminiscing over NYC)

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