Spinach salad with spicy corn and crispy quinoa (vegan)

The day after Labor Day is similar to the day after Christmas. The fun is over, the parties are done, but we’re still stuck with the season’s worst weather. In the case of Christmas, it’s blizzards and wind, and for Labor Day, it’s sweltering humidity and heat waves. But a silver lining of the cloud-less and blistering days that follow the unofficial last day of summer is the continuation of summer’s harvest for a few more weeks. Before we start tossing our peaches for apples and our corn stalks for sweet potatoes, we get to relish in the crops that define our region’s summer prosperity.

Today’s recipe combines some of my favorite flavors from August and September. If you’re in the mood for a light but flavorful meal, perfect for a 90+ degree day, give this a whirl!

Spinach Salad with Spicy Corn and Crispy Quinoa (vegan)
corn salad 1

The ingredients below are enough for 1-2 salads.
1-2 cups spinach, washed (depending on how many greens you’re in the mood for!)
1 ear of corn
1 tablespoon Earth Balance (or butter)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
Ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
Extra virgin olive-oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare the corn by removing the husk and preparing a piece of foil to wrap it in. In a small pan, heat the butter. When the butter melts, remove and mix in the cayenne pepper, garlic, cumin, lime zest, lime juice, and pepper. Rub over corn and wrap ear in foil. Bake for 30 minutes. While it is in the oven, saute the quinoa in olive oil for 5-10 minutes or until crispy. Once the corn has cooled, cut off the kernels and toss with the spinach. Add the quinoa on top.
corn salad 2
This salad goes great with a little olive oil and lime juice or any other light, citrusy dressing.