This quinoa dish makes for a fresh and filling side. To modify this recipe for an easy-to-swallow diet, nix the corn in favor of an additional 1 teaspoon of olive oil per serving. Olive oil helps coat the food, making it easier to swallow.
- Thoroughly rinse fresh produce under warm running water for 20 seconds. Scrub to remove excess dirt.
- Rinse quinoa in a fine-mesh colander under running water for at least 30 seconds. Drain well.
- In a saucepan, bring rinsed quinoa and water to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until quinoa has absorbed the liquid, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes.
- When quinoa is cool, add it to a large bowl with beans, corn, bell pepper, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, lime juice and zest, cilantro, and salt and mix well. Cover and chill for a few hours or overnight.
- To serve, bring salad to room temperature, add avocado, and mix gently to combine.
Washing the quinoa well before cooking helps to remove bitterness caused by naturally occurring saponins. Saponins are chemical compounds found in quinoa and other plant-based foods, and have been shown to possess a number of health benefits.