Fresh Corn & Blueberry Quinoa Salad with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

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Fresh Corn & Blueberry Quinoa Salad with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette is fresh and ultra-healthy. Turn into a complete meal with the addition of grilled or sauteed shrimp, chicken, or fish

FreshCornBlueberrySalad

Aaaand, we’re back! :)

Although I miss Colorado already – sheesh! There just never seems to be a dull moment, and it’s so freaking beautiful. Case in point, the adorable ski resort town of Breckenridge, CO, nestled into the base of the mountains about an hour and a half west of Denver, where Ben and I spent the last few days of our Rocky Mountain vacay!

 

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Just because Breckenridge is one of the most hoppin’ spots in Colorado during ski season, doesn’t mean it shuts down during the off season. From mountain biking to hiking, rock climbing to relaxing, “Breck” has a ton to do no matter what time of year you’re visiting.

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The dining and drinking establishments also passed the test, and as soon as Ben and I arrived into town on Friday afternoon, we headed to Salt Creek, per my brother’s recommendation, for lunch on their outdoor patio.

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Talk about a meal with a view!

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The mountains weren’t so bad either. ;)

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My bro usually goes for what I hear is a can’t miss breakfast, but we were equally as thrilled by Ben’s hand-formed, gourmet Western Burger, dah-ripping with BBQ sauce, bacon, and onion strings,

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and my Mixed Green Salad, which included well, mixed greens, goat cheese, dried cherries, toasted almonds, carrots, sundried tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes, fresh cracked pepper, and champagne vinaigrette. The best!

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It felt like the 100th salad I’d eaten since we arrived in Colorado, but that didn’t stop me from devouring every last bite. :)

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I guess there was something about the crisp mountain air and healthy outdoor lifestyle we experienced in Colorado that had me craving light and fresh dishes throughout the trip. I figure why stop now, and made a Fresh Corn & Blueberry Salad with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette to enjoy once we got home!

This quinoa-based salad studded with crispy sweet corn, sweet blueberries, cooling cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and fresh herbs is tossed with a TO DIE FOR Honey Lemon Vinaigrette.

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Fresh and ultra-healthy, it’s light yet filling on it’s own, or can be made into a complete meal with the addition of grilled or sauteed shrimp, chicken, or fish.

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I feel as though Colorado would approve. :)

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Start the Fresh Corn & Blueberry Salad by cooking 1 cup quinoa that’s been rinsed VERY well under cold running water (to wash away the bitter coating on the outside of the quinoa) in 2 cups chicken broth until the quinoa is tender and the broth is absorbed, about 20-25 minutes. Let the quinoa cool completely. You don’t have to use chicken broth, btw, I just think it gives the quinoa tons more flavor!

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While the quinoa is cooling, whisk together the Honey Lemon Vinaigrette that will dress the salad. This stuff is the ‘ISH! Start by microplaning 1/2 lemon to get 1 teaspoon lemon zest, then add it to a bowl with 1/4 cup lemon juice, which is about 2 regular sized lemons worth.

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Add 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil to the zest and juice.

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Then 1 Tablespoon honey, salt & pepper. Whisk the ingredients together then set aside. Dressing = done!

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Now gather the rest of the salad ingredients in a large bowl, starting with the kernels from 3 ears of corn. Everyone seems to have their favorite way to get the kernels off the blessed cob, but here’s my go-to method: place the ear on a cutting board then slice off a side with a sharp knife. Rotate the ear so the flat side is now face-down on the cutting board, then continue slicing and rotating. Voila! No flying corn kernels.

The sweet corn ’round here is so sweet and tender right now that I eat it raw, but if you have a thing against raw corn, you can definitely steam the kernals for a few minutes.

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Next add 1/2 cup chopped cucumber to the bowl. De-seed the cucumbers with a spoon before chopping, and be sure to peel ‘em if the skin is tough and thick. This guy came from my backyard garden and was perfect!

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1 cup halved cherry tomatoes go in next.

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These, too, came from my garden and are growing like tweens. They’re Sweet 100s and even Ben can’t stop popping them like Skittles. They’re soooo sweet!

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Now add 1 cup blueberries. I love how the price of berries gets lower and lower as the summer continues, while the taste gets better and better. Win, win. :)

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1/2 minced jalapeno goes in next, for a spicy contrast to the sweet corn and blueberries.

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Then 3 Tablespoons fresh parsley and 1 Tablespoon fresh basil are chopped and added for a herby flavor punch.

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Add the cooled quinoa to the bowl, then pour the dressing in and toss to coat every morsel in its sweet-tart lusciousness.

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Serve the salad with chicken, fish, or shrimp seasoned with seafood seasoning, like I did.

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Sound the dinner bell! :D

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Fresh Corn & Blueberry Salad with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Print this recipe!

Serves 6

Adapted from BHG.com

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa, rinsed very well
2 cups chicken broth
3 ears corn, kernels cut from cobs
1 cup blueberries
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup cucumber, chopped small (peeled if outside is thick and tough)
3 Tablespoons chopped parsley
1 Tablespoon chopped basil
1/2 jalapeno, minced

For the dressing:
1 teaspoon lemon zest
4 Tablespoons lemon juice (about 2 lemons worth)
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon honey
salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. Rinse quinoa very well in a fine mesh sieve under cold running water. Add to a saucepan with the chicken broth then bring the broth to a boil. Place a lid on top, lower the heat to medium-low, then cook until quinoa is tender and broth is absorbed, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely.
  2. For the dressing: Combine lemon zest and juice, extra virgin olive oil, honey, salt, and pepper in a jar or bowl. Shake or whisk to combine. Set aside.
  3. Combine corn, blueberries, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, basil, jalapeno, and cooled quinoa in a large bowl. Pour dressing over and mix well to combine. Serve with grilled or sauteed shrimp, chicken, or fish.

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I could eat plate after plate of this salad, which I suppose would defeat the purpose of a healthy meal, but seriously – almost not even caring.

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The fresh lemon and honey dressing is killer with the super sweet corn, blueberries, and cherry tomatoes, while the minced jalapeno lends a fun, hint of heat. Love this salad!!

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Well guys, this officially wraps up my Colorado 2K12 recaps! Sob! Thanks for coming along, and if you’ve never been, Ben and I both highly recommend. Denver’s got a killer food scene, and limitless outdoor activities are just a short drive away. What more could you ask for? :)

Have a great week!

~~~~~

Do you have a “repeat” vacation spot? Somewhere you go every year, or have gone more than once?

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Comments

  1. Lindsey 07.16.2012

    We usually head south to Arizona each winter. My in-laws have a place there and it is a great (and cheap) winter escape!

  2. Colorado is just amazing! I just love e mountains there! Awesome salads :)

  3. Whit 07.16.2012

    Colorado is my go-to spot and your posts have made me pine for it (even though I was JUST there in May). Estes Park is my jam.

  4. I love Breckenridge in the summer! I’ve been there a few times in the summer and once in the winter to ski. It’s always so gorgeous and fun!

  5. Amy 07.16.2012

    The past few years our repeat vacation has been an early October to the Black Hills — we stay at a cute/cozy cabin resort called the Hart Ranch, get in some hikes, see Mt. Rushmore, and drive around spotting wild animals!

    I would definitely be okay with going to Colorado again and again — seeing the mountains just never gets old!

  6. steph 07.16.2012

    My hubs and I work for the Telluride Film Festival. So it is CO for us every year!

  7. That salad looks amazing, as always!

    I’m glad you had a great time in Colorado. I’m super jealous still – always always wanted to go!

  8. Beth 07.16.2012

    I went to Vail for a day in the summer years and years ago. It was gorgeous with all the flowers blooming. I loved it.

    I will definitely be trying this recipe!

  9. I don’t have a repeat vacation spot – one of my goals is to see as many places in the world as possible, so I’d rather try a new place everytime I travel.

    I wouldn’t rule out a repeat spot though. I went to the Bahamas when I was about ten years old, and would love to go again.

  10. Okay I am definitely going to have to make this tomorrow! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe :)

    My favorite repeat vacation spot is Palm Desert and Dana Point (both in California) I could go there every year for the rest of my life and be happy as a clam!

  11. Lori 07.16.2012

    My family goes to a lake near Perham, MN for a week every summer. I’ve probably missed 4 summers in my 34 years! We rent cabins on the beach and have fun hanging out together.

  12. Kelly 07.16.2012

    Williamsburg, va. And we go an average of twice a year. This year we are going for three. :-)

  13. Lindsey B. 07.16.2012

    Yum! Btw, I just bought one of those 4 Tbsp measurers at TJ Maxx this weekend! So funny to see it on here! :)

  14. That salad looks delicious! I can’t wait to make it tomorrow :)

  15. JennP 07.16.2012

    Vail, Colorado and Charleston, SC are my “repeat” vacay spots. Love them both!

  16. Jaime 07.16.2012

    I’ve loved reading all your posts about Colorado! I’m headed out there in a couple weeks for a grad school internship. I am so excited after reading about all the awesome stuff you did/ate/saw. I’m making my list of things I have to do while I’m there!

  17. Lyndi 07.16.2012

    All of your food photos are drool worthy. Just amazing! Salt Creek looks a lot like Washington’s Leavenworth. :)

  18. That salad is BEAUTIFUL!! I am definitely making this and very soon. Love all of your Colorado pictures. You’ve made me want to vacation there. One of my favorite repeat vacation destinations is Destin, Fl. Love that place!!

  19. Heidi 07.16.2012

    That salad looks so good! I will have to make it for tomorrow’s dinner!

    Have you been to BeauJo’s in Idaho Springs (just west of Denver)? I hear it’s got legendary food and a great Friday/Saturday night atmosphere.

    Glad you had a great trip!

  20. Debbie 07.16.2012

    Love, love, love Cape Cod! I go every year!

  21. Lori Lozano 07.16.2012

    I know you hate to even ponder this question :) but… can you suggest a good substitute for blueberries? I know! I know! I think they are the only fruit I do not care for :( but this sounds wonderful!

  22. Ivy 07.16.2012

    My boyfriend and I are going to Breckenridge in two weeks…for the third summer in a row! We can’t get enough of that town and the whole state itself. Also heading to Pearl Lake for the first time to do some camping. If in Breckenridge again and wanting to do some hiking, make sure you hit up the Mohawk Lake trail and the Chipmunk trail. Also try Hearthstone for dinner. Delicious!

  23. Kim Bergkamp 07.16.2012

    I can’t believe I have all of the ingredients for this salad…I am making it tomorrow!

  24. Dee 07.16.2012

    Oh thank god. I was having good recipe pinning withdrawals.

  25. Bek @ Crave 07.16.2012

    Breckenridge reminds me so much of Queenstown in New Zealand when I visited- very picturesque. I’ve never had blueberries in a salad, I’ll have to try it once there in season over here and don’t cost an arm and a leg haha!

  26. Gorgeous scenery and a gorgeous salad!

  27. Suzanne 07.17.2012

    Good that you had a great time in Colorado. Would love to got here.

    The salad looks great and I will be trying it very soon. Yesterday i had your ‘Sweet Corn & Quinoa with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette’ for the second time. Loved that one, so I’m sure I will love this one as well.

  28. DessertForTwo 07.17.2012

    This salad looks delicious! Now that we just moved to the midWest, it looks like Colorado is our new vacation spot. Can’t wait! :)

  29. I live in the UK but my fiancé and I are going to Colorado for our honeymoon. It looks so beautiful I’m so excited :)
    The salad looks very good, definitely going to try it out!

  30. Barbara 07.17.2012

    The salad looks great, but the shrimp looks amazing!! I have only been to Breckinridge in the winter – so strange to see your pictures of it in the summer! Beautiful!

  31. Trisha 07.17.2012

    This salad looks spectacular, as does your entire trip! I’m really itching to make it to CO now. We visit Playa del Carmen, MX once a year & we absolutely love it there!

  32. Lauren T 07.17.2012

    That salad looks amazing!! I may just have to make that for lunch :) Glad you enjoyed your Colorado trip! It’s such a beautiful place in the summer!

  33. Stephanie 07.17.2012

    I’m a native of Colorado and I love reading posts from people who visit! I always end up learning something new about this wonderful place. Thank you for such a beautiful review of my state!

  34. Aw! I just love Breck! Last time I was there was for a girls trip…We didn’t ski but had an awesome time trying the restaurants, hiking, and going out.

    Looks like you had a great time!

  35. Lois 07.17.2012

    Any substitute for chicken broth? Might make this salad for some vegetarians. Tks!

  36. morgan 07.17.2012

    My repeat vacation spot is Captiva Island, FL. We’ve been going nearly every year for ages…sadly, we’ll be skipping the trip this year ’cause we’ll have a newborn. I SUPPOSE that’s a good reason to miss it. ;)

  37. Looks delicious! Sounds like a wonderful (and tasty) vacation!

  38. That salad looks so delicious!

  39. Coby 07.17.2012

    Hi! I stumbled upon your blog through Go Bold with Butter, and immediately your photos of Breckenridge caught my eye! My family and I LOVE to go there during the summer, and the Salt Creek Restaurant is one of our favorite places to go for breakfast! I look forward to perusing your blog!

  40. My boyfriend and I travel to Santa Cruz often, since he went to college there. It’s only 2-3 hours away, but it always feels like a vacation even if just for the weekend!

    I am LOVING quinoa + corn combos for summer. The textures just seem to go so well together!

  41. Krystal 07.18.2012

    Looks awesome! But why did you de-seed to cucumbers?

  42. Corn and blueberry together? Who would have thunk?!?!?

  43. Jonathan Dueck 07.18.2012

    That salad has me salivating – especially with the addition of shrimp! So light and healthy.

    And is it just me, or does corn always taste better when you saw it off the cob yourself?

  44. Rachel 07.19.2012

    Wow! That sounds delicious! I had something like it at Bite of Seattle last year and I really enjoyed it. I like the idea of serving it with shrimp. Yum yum!

  45. agnes 07.19.2012

    very healthy salad recipe, I like the salad dressing too

  46. Faithe 07.20.2012

    This looks terrific. I just got my share of produce home from the CSA, and all of the ingredients are on hand. Looking forward to making it!

  47. Tina 07.24.2012

    I just made this salad and it is AMAZING!!! I am also an Iowa Girl and we just spent half a day freezing sweet corn yesterday so I just used some of that. I totally understand the desire to eat the whole bowl!!

  48. Balvinder 07.24.2012

    That salad looks amazing! I have never used raw corn but now I get the urge to do it.

  49. I recently discovered your blog after you were featured in Shape…and I love it. I have already made several meals from your site. You inspired me to try quinoa this week and this recipe was a hit. Thanks so much!

  50. [...] very slightly adapted from Iowa Girl Eats. Love, Sarah Share this: Pin ItPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted [...]

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