This Sweet Corn, Shrimp, and Bean Quinoa Salad Recipe is sponsored by Sunshine Sweet Corn. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. #SunshineSweetCorn
Sweet corn was a staple in our house when I was growing up. In Pennsylvania, local corn can be found in grocery stores and farmer’s markets in July and August. I guess this is why sweet corn always makes me think of summer. My dad’s uncle had a farm where he grew corn and every summer, he would deliver a truckload of corn to my dad’s work. My mom, sister, and I would head down to his work and along with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, we would sit in a circle in the parking lot and husk corn. I remember the sticky feeling on my hands and the buzzing of bees attracted by the sweet smell.
Once the husking was done, the corn was divided up and we headed home. My mom would blanch the ears of corn, soak them in ice water, cut the kernels off and fill bags for the freezer. With this process, we enjoyed sweet corn for most of the year. Every time we ate it, I was reminded of summer.
It has been a lot of years since we did this summer ritual. My Dad’s uncle has passed away, along with my grandparents and my mother, and I haven’t seen most of my cousins in years. However, every time I buy corn and bring it home to husk it, I think of sitting in that circle on a lawn chair with a bag full of husks at my feet.
Sunshine Sweet Corn
Just the other day, I bought some sweet corn at the grocery store. Although we don’t have local corn in April, we do have Sunshine Sweet Corn. Since it is grown in Florida, I don’t have to wait until summer to enjoy the taste of corn. I love that Sunshine Sweet Corn is non-GMO, extra tender, and regulated for quality control. Just look at how good it looks. Trust me, it tastes just as good as it looks!
On the Sunshine Sweet Corn website, they have a lot of great recipes. I decided to try their Sweet Corn and Bean Quinoa Salad recipe. Of course, I tweaked it a bit. They list shrimp as an optional addition to the recipe. We LOVE shrimp, so I added that in (plus 50% extra). We had this for dinner last night and it was amazing! The sweet corn balances out the bite of the red onion, and the dijon vinaigrette really brings all of the ingredients together. I swear every bite tasted like a summer picnic to me.
Prep for Sweet Corn, Shrimp & Bean Quinoa Salad
For this recipe, you will need to do some things ahead of time. First, you will need to cook and cool the quinoa. The recipe calls for 3 cups of cooked quinoa. To get 3 cups, you will need to use 1 cup of dry, uncooked quinoa and prepare it using the directions on the quinoa package. I rinsed my quinoa before cooking it since it can sometimes have a bitter taste if prepared unrinsed.
The second thing you will want to do in advance is to cook and cool the shrimp. I took the easy way out (as usual) and purchased frozen, already cooked shrimp. All I had to do was thaw it and remove the tails. If you really want to take the easy way out, you could also purchase the peppers and red and green onion already chopped. If you are willing to pay extra, most grocery stores have a section that sells diced veggies. Since I had fresh sweet corn kernels, I wanted to chop all of my vegetables by hand and get the freshest taste possible. It was worth the extra time.
I decided to serve the quinoa salad on a bed of butter lettuce and instead of mixing in the dijon vinaigrette, I served it on the side so everyone could add however much they like.
I’ll be honest; my husband wasn’t happy when I told him we were having a salad for dinner. However, once he saw it and took the first bite, he was happy. With the quinoa, beans, and shrimp, this is a very filling salad!
Yields 4-6 servings
This healthy, fresh, and delicious salad is great as a complete lunch or dinner or could even be used as a picnic/BBQ side dish.
- 4 medium ears of corn, kernels removed (about 3 cups)
- 3 cups cooked and cooled quinoa (made using 1 cup uncooked quinoa )
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans , drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
- 12 ounces cooked shrimp
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 Tbsp cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp granulated stevia (or 2 tsps sugar)
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
- cherry tomatoes, halved
- butter lettuce
- In a large bowl, toss corn kernels, cooled quinoa, beans, peppers, red onion, green onion, and shrimp.
- To make the dijon vinaigrette, in a sealable container, combine olive oil, vinegar, dijon mustard, stevia, salt and pepper; shake until the mixture thickens, about 60 seconds.
- Pour the vinaigrette over the quinoa mixture and toss to combine.
- Just before serving, sprinkle with the cilantro.
- Garnish with halved cherry tomatoes, or serve on a bed of greens, if desired.
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