chili-rubbed fish with quinoa, corn and black bean salad

by jenna on May 26, 2011

Hey guys, this is Aggie from Aggie’s Kitchen!

I have to say I was pretty excited, and well, quite flattered when Jenna asked me to guest post on Eat, Live, Run. I have read ELR often over the years and have always loved Jenna’s laid back fun style…her food and photography are always making me hungry and I love that she posts her latest reads on here too. If you are a reader, like I am, then you’re always looking for your next book. Cooking & reading…always my first two items listed after the “what do you enjoy doing?” question.

I am sharing with you today one of my latest favorite recipes. As a matter of fact, I was cooking this up the other evening when I first got the message from Jenna asking me to guest post. As I contemplated what “old” post I was going to revive here on ELR, I instead realized that the meal I was making reflected exactly how I love to eat and would be perfect to share, especially this time of year when most of us are trying to eat a lot lighter.

My food philosophy is pretty simple: I eat to feel good. And this plate of food definitely does the trick.

It’s full of awesome-for-you stuff and you can’t help but feel good after you eat it. If you are new to quinoa and are hesitant to try it out, then I highly recommend making a salad like this. I think quinoa tastes so good when dressed and tossed with veggies in a “salad” and you can really change it up to suit your tastes. It’s a very light whole grain and a little goes a long way. I made the salad early in the day (you can totally make it the day before) and the fish cooked up extremely quick in the pan. Dinner was ready in no time, and leftovers became a perfect lunch the next day.

Thanks for having me over Jenna! Hope everyone enjoys the recipe!

Chili-Rubbed Fish with Quinoa, Corn and Black Bean Salad

Inspired by recipes found in Orlando Sentinel and In Good Taste

Print this recipe!


For the salad:
(makes 6-8 servings)

1 ½ cups quinoa (pre rinsed)
3 cups water
15 oz can of black beans, rinsed
2 cups fresh or frozen cooked corn
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 jalapenos, minced
big handful cilantro, chopped
bunch chives or green onion, chopped

4 limes, squeezed
¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ tsp cumin
big pinch salt and pepper

Add quinoa and water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Bring down to simmer and cook until all water is absorbed and quinoa has “popped”, you’ll see a faint white “ring” around grain (about 10 minutes). Take off heat and let cool.

In a jar or air tight container, combine lime juice, olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Shake vigorously until well combined.

In large bowl, combine cooled quinoa, black beans, green peppers, jalapenos, chopped cilantro, chives or green onion and dressing. Gently toss till completely combined. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Can be made ahead of time and stored in refrigerator.

For the fish:
(makes 4-5 servings)

1 – 1 ½ lbs flaky white fish (I used frozen barramundi, but tilapia, red snapper, or cod will work well)
1 ½ tsp chili powder
1 ½ tsp oregano
½ tsp cumin
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper


Combine chili powder, oregano, cumin, olive oil, salt and pepper in bowl. Pat dry each fish fillet and gently brush marinade on both sides.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Gently lay fish into skillet and let cook for about 4-5 minutes or until bottom of fish is white. Carefully flip over fish and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes or until fish is translucent and flaky. Cooking time depends on thickness of fish so keep an eye on it and test for doneness.

Before taking fish out of pan, squeeze fresh lime juice over fillets. Serve with Quinoa, Black Bean and Corn salad.

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{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

kaila @ healthy helper! May 26, 2011 at 4:48 am

I love everything about this recipe! And its perfect because I have some cod to make for dinner tonight! And I just happen to have quinoa and black beans too! This is totally whats for dinner tonight!


Baking 'n' Books May 26, 2011 at 5:30 am

I love love love cod!

Would Halibut work? I have a bag of quinoa here for months – but still haven’t tried it! Is it “gritty” or softer like rice?


Aggie May 26, 2011 at 5:32 am

I think halibut would work perfectly! And as for quinoa, it’s soft and firm, kind of like a plumped up cous cous if that makes sense 🙂 I think it gets even softer when mixed into a dressing. Enjoy!!


Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum May 26, 2011 at 4:50 am

This looks awesome (especially the quinoa salad)! And is that fish tilapia?


Aggie May 26, 2011 at 5:33 am

that fish is actually barramundi. It was my first time trying it, I picked it up frozen at Costco! It was good, and reminded me a lot of tilapia.


Molly @ RDexposed May 26, 2011 at 4:51 am

AH! Janepeños! Those make my hands burn for days. I will have to contemplate this dish!


Liz May 26, 2011 at 5:14 am

wear gloves while you cut them, then your hands don’t burn!


Aggie May 26, 2011 at 5:34 am

when my friend made it for me originally she used the milder pickled jalapenos in a jar. They were tangy and really good. Next time I make this I think I’m going to add them in again. You can always leave the jalapenos out of the recipe completely!


Heather (Heather's Dish) May 26, 2011 at 4:55 am

what a fantastic dinner! i love that you showed a full meal too…i’m always looking for new meal ideas!


Janelle May 26, 2011 at 4:56 am

I like this concept, it’s like a quinoa salsa!


Jil @ Big City, Lil Kitchen May 26, 2011 at 5:20 am

Ohh – this looks great!


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 26, 2011 at 5:23 am

Oh wow, fish, quinoa AND black beans? You’ve got 3 of my favourite things here! Great recipe!! 🙂


Laurie @Simply Scratch May 26, 2011 at 5:29 am

I LOVE THIS!! Light and easy… thanks for sharing!


Beth @ DiningAndDishing May 26, 2011 at 5:42 am

“I eat to feel good.” – Love that line!


Heather May 26, 2011 at 5:47 am

I love fish, and that looks amazing! Thanks for sharing.


Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet May 26, 2011 at 5:50 am

This definitely sounds like something I’d eat and remake over and over again.

It’s perfect for the season, and with white fish, I love the bonus of super-short cooking times!

Thanks for the recipe 🙂


Heather @ Multiply Delicious May 26, 2011 at 5:59 am

This looks amazing! Nice and fresh and perfect for the season! Love it!
Thanks for sharing.


Holly @ The Runny Egg May 26, 2011 at 6:09 am

This looks delicious! Perfect for summer.


Jessica @ For the Fun of Fit May 26, 2011 at 6:10 am

This recipe looks amazing. I’m always looking for something new and exciting to do with quinoa! Would this work just as well with red quinoa?


jenna May 26, 2011 at 7:35 am

Not speaking for Aggie, but I think red quinoa would even be more beautiful!


Aggie May 26, 2011 at 7:49 am

I love red quinoa! harder for me to find sometimes so when I do I snatch it up.


Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) May 26, 2011 at 6:27 am

Hi Aggie your fish looks great. Chili rubbed. That means it has KICK and some ka-pow which is always more fun for me!


Aggie May 26, 2011 at 6:31 am

Hi Averie 🙂 I love me some kick and ka-pow! And I was thinking this fish would be good with some chipotle powder next time for some real kick! Nice to meet you! (I love veggies and yoga too!)


Lula May 26, 2011 at 6:50 am

Perfect summer recipe! I love going to whole foods and making grain salads out of the basics. Cumin is a great addition to counteract that slightly “funny” taste that I get from quinoa! Such a perfect, summery recipe. Thank you!


jenna May 26, 2011 at 6:55 am

yum this looks like a light flavorful dish. the fish looks amazing.


Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food May 26, 2011 at 7:09 am

mmm love the spice rub on the fish, this looks wonderful! 🙂


Heidi @ Food Doodles May 26, 2011 at 8:25 am

That salad looks awesome, and the rub for the fish sounds like it tastes great. Thanks Aggie!


Jen of My Tiny Oven May 26, 2011 at 8:32 am

I want this for dinner! It looks so good!!


Caneel May 26, 2011 at 8:35 am

Aggie, both of these look amazing! I WILL be making this very soon. Oh.Yum. Thanks for sharing it!


Tori (Fresh Fruition) May 26, 2011 at 8:40 am

That citrus-y quinoa looks / sounds so good!


Natalia - a side of simple May 26, 2011 at 9:08 am

Just the other day I added pineapple juice to quinoa and it tasted so flavorful. Can’t wait to try your recipe, Aggie. Thanks for sharing!


Aggie May 26, 2011 at 10:05 am

oh now that’s an idea! I’m imagining a little coconut in there too for some reason…a twist on coconut rice?


Ruth May 26, 2011 at 9:46 am

There are some mighty fine savoury recipes on ELR at the moment! Thanks Aggie!!


gia May 26, 2011 at 9:55 am

the quinoa salad looks amazing!!! Def. want to try this, and it’s high in protein, so this could be dinner for me!…. I might add even more veg… thx!


Aggie May 26, 2011 at 10:04 am

more veg would be great! I felt like it could of used more … never enough veg in my book 🙂


Katrina May 26, 2011 at 9:56 am

Love this dinner idea!


Mellie May 26, 2011 at 10:05 am

I’ve never had barramundi but I love tilapia! This recipe looks amazing!


Cassie May 26, 2011 at 10:14 am

Delicious, chili rubbed fish! I definitely like spicy flavors during the summer!


kristina@beancakes May 26, 2011 at 10:18 am

oh yum! your recipes get better every day, i must say 😉


Kaitlyn @ 7 Plates May 26, 2011 at 10:53 am

Wow.. my mouth is watering. Seriously.. haha.


Meghan @ StruggleMuffins May 26, 2011 at 11:06 am

Mmm looks so good! This time of year I love anything involving light, flaky fish and lime juice. And quinoa is always a welcome addition to any meal, as far as I’m concerned. Thanks for the great recipe 🙂


Justeen @ Blissful Baking May 26, 2011 at 11:08 am

The quinoa looks amazing! I made a very similar quinoa salad last week, and my whole family LOVED it.


Cara Craves... May 26, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Black beans and quinoa; what a wonderful pairing!


Cookin' Canuck May 26, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Both the chili-rubbed fish and the quinoa sound fantastic. I can imagine serving this guests or preparing it for an easy weeknight meal.


Alycia May 26, 2011 at 2:39 pm

This looks awesome! I would love to try this with fresh BC Halibut which comes into season very soon here on the coast.
Aggie – last time I made quinoa my tummy hurt so much after eating it. I have heard that soaking overnight with apple cider vinegar helps to sprout it which aids in digestion. Do you have any other suggestions or have you ever had this happen? Thanks again 🙂


Angie May 26, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! So light, refreshing, and healthy. I thought I had quinoa in my pantry, but no dice…so I ended up using barley instead. Thanks for sharing this today!


Aggie May 26, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Awesome! So glad you enjoyed it 🙂


Aggie May 26, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Oh bummer, I’m sorry that happens to you! I have heard about sprouted quinoa, good things! Someone mentioned it and explained the process on my FB page, will have to look for the post and paste her instructions here for you!


Alycia May 27, 2011 at 8:22 am

That would be awesome! Thanks.


Aggie May 27, 2011 at 10:22 am

These were the instructions that a reader left me on my FB page:
Rinse the quinoa a few times, then let soak overnight in a bowl. Rinse again once or twice in the morning. I usually stop here and eat it as is (no cooking required), or you can drain it and spread out on a large platter and cover it with a towel for the sprouts to develop more (rinsing every six hours).

Let me know if you try it! She says she loves it with feta and leeks!


Alyssa May 26, 2011 at 7:13 pm

I tried the salad tonight and it was yummy! I am just starting to use quinoa so I am always looking for new things to do with it. Thanks!
Also need to try the fish!


Aggie May 27, 2011 at 10:29 am

so happy you tried it and enjoyed it! Quinoa, at least for me, took some tries to get used to. I want to post more recipes with it b/c I know if done right it can be awesome! especially since its so good for you! Thanks so much for letting me know! 🙂


JulieD May 27, 2011 at 6:07 am


This looks so good. I have quinoa and I have never cooked it before, I’m looking forward to trying this!!! Thank you!


Aggie May 27, 2011 at 10:30 am

I had a box of quinoa in my pantry for a long time till my friend “taught” me how to cook it 🙂 I think you will like this!


Maris (InGood Taste) May 27, 2011 at 9:51 am

This is such a healthy and delicious meal. Great guest post!


Carolyn May 27, 2011 at 3:48 pm

A great recipe, Aggie. Wonderful guest post, glad you were asked to do it!


Kim {Recipes To Run On} May 27, 2011 at 6:24 pm

How fun that you are guest posting here Aggie! I recently discovered this great site and love that the two of you connected in this post. And yes, this is the perfect light summer dinner & I can’t wait to try it! Happy Weekend to you both!!!


Rebecca @ How the Cookies Crumble May 28, 2011 at 9:54 am

Mmm! Love quinoa salad because I can’t eat gluten! This meal looks great!


Megan March 24, 2013 at 10:16 pm

All the produce I used in this recipe was a couple of days away from going bad so I’m really glad I ran across this post! I can always count on this website for fresh cooking ideas 🙂 I used both of these recipes tonight and really enjoyed them. I used tilapia for my fish and it was awesome. It’s really easy to cut the recipe in half for two, or double it for a party (which I will most definitely be doing!) My boyfriend liked the bean salad the most from our dinner and is going to take the rest for lunch tomorrow ^.^


Grace January 25, 2014 at 4:41 pm

When do I add the frozen corn?


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