Soak the black beans the previous day in some water. I add few drops of Apple cider Vinegar to this water. I do this to remove the phytic acid present naturally in beans. This is optional - but it helps to reduce the gassiness considerably and is better for you generally.
Rinse the beans, the next day
and cook it with enough water to cover it. Add the Epazote, if using. Please refer my Tip 1, if you don't want to use the herb and/or if you want to skip this process of cooking the beans.
I pressure cook it for 8-10 min (abt 3 whistles) or until the beans are soft (but retain shape). Set aside. You can use this water for other cooking purposes.
Rinse and drain the Quinoa.
Heat a saucepan. Add 2 cups water along with Garlic, Cumin Seeds and Bay leaf. I add them here to flavor Quinoa but you can skip it, if you wish. See Tip 3.
Bring it to a boil and then add the Quinoa. Cover the pan, reduce heat to Low-Medium and simmer for about 8 min
or until when most of the water has been absorbed.
Now add the frozen corn. I do this 'cos I hate the taste of just thawed out frozen corn. If you are OK with it, simply add thawed corn along with the veggies. Or else you can stir fry or use grilled corn. See Tip 4
Let it continue cooking for another 5 minutes or until the water is completely absorbed. Remove from heat and let it sit for another 5 min. Uncover, fluff with a fork and cool for 5-10 minutes.
While that's cooling, prep the veggies (onion, tomato, bell pepper) and add them together along with black beans
In another bowl, whisk together Extra Virgin Olive oil, Lemon juice and Flax seed oil if using, along with sea salt and pepper. Please refer Tip 6 before adding flax seed oil. Set aside.
Remove the bay leaf from Quinoa (and Garlic if you don't like mushy garlic) and add it to the vegetables. You can use another large bowl to do this. I am lazy and hence use the same pan :)
Drizzle the dressing to the quinoa-bean mixture.
Toss gently to coat. Taste and season accordingly. At this point, cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour (at least) for the flavors to mingle well.
Before serving, dry roast the raw pumpkin seeds
and add it to the salad along with cilantro. Toss and serve