Happy New Year! If you’re like many others, you’ve started the year with a determination to eat healthier or lose some weight! This Southwest Quinoa Salad is a delicious, healthy recipe solution for you, featuring a combination of quinoa, black beans, tomatoes, corn, bell peppers, and avocado, topped with a scrumptious cilantro lime dressing! YUM!
This is my first official blog post of 2018, and I’m so grateful to be able to share this recipe with you from our newly remodeled kitchen. I don’t know about you, but we managed to eat quite a bit of Christmas goodies and take-out over the holidays (due to my husband and I loving sweets AND having no kitchen to cook in for the past 2 months), and have begun the year determined to make wiser choices. Enter this quinoa salad… this flavor-filled healthy “meatless” dish is perfect as a light side dish… or a quick lunch! Here’s how to make it.
Put the uncooked quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse with water (this helps clean the quinoa). Place the rinsed quinoa, water and salt in a saucepan; bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. When it comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and put a lid on the pan. Cook quinoa for approximately 17-20 minutes (or until all liquid has been absorbed). Remove pan from heat, set aside, and let quinoa cool down to room temperature.
Place cherry tomatoes, corn, black beans, bell peppers, avocado and room temperature quinoa into a large salad bowl. Set aside. TIP: An easy tip for cubing an avocado is to cut it in half, remove pit, then use a knife to slice grid lines into avocado lengthwise, then horizontally, without cutting through peel. Once cut, slide a large spoon around the inside of the peel, and the avocado cubes should fall out!
To make the simple cilantro lime dressing, whisk together olive oil, light sour cream, lime zest and juice, garlic powder, cumin, salt, pepper and cilantro in a small bowl . Be sure to mix well.
Pour all of the dressing over salad, and stir well, to combine all ingredients thoroughly. The quinoa will absorb all the delicious Southwestern flavors from the dressing and will really make this dish shine!
I garnished the salad with a sprig of fresh cilantro, and served it as a side dish, but the salad is filling (even without meat), and would be a perfect quick vegetarian meal or “take to work” packed lunch! The salad tastes good served at room temperature OR chilled!
Here’s a close up of some Southwest Quinoa Salad goodness… yum! I love the fact that it not only tastes wonderful, but is quite colorful and good for you!
I served the salad with roasted turkey breast and steamed broccoli, for a healthy New Years Day dinner! My husband and I really enjoyed it, and it was FUN to prepare my first recipe for 2018 in our newly remodeled kitchen (after 2 months of not being able to cook in there)! Yay for our new, updated kitchen, appliances and counter tops! We still have some work to do, but I’ve already begun cooking in my kitchen once again. CAN YOU SEE ME SMILING?
I want to wish you again a Happy New Year from our home to yours! The arrival of a new year brings with it an infinite number of opportunities to encourage and serve others, grow as a person, create great memories, and cook delicious meals for yourself and those you love!
Hope you will join me in rising to the occasion, and as always, thank you for visiting The Grateful Girl Cooks. I appreciate each one of you. Have a great day!
Recipe Source: http://togetherasfamily.com/2017/05/fiesta-quinoa-salad/
- 1¼ cups uncooked quinoa
- 2½ cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 can corn, drained (standard sized can)
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 orange bell pepper, chopped (I used a combination of red, orange and green)
- 1 avocado, peeled and cubed
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup reduced fat sour cream (can substitute plain non-fat yogurt)
- Zest and juice from 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
- Put the uncooked quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse with water (this helps clean quinoa). Place the rinsed quinoa, water and salt in a saucepan; bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. When it comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and put a lid on the pan. Cook quinoa for approximately 17-20 minutes (or until all liquid has been absorbed). Remove pan from heat, set aside, and let quinoa cool down to room temperature.
- Place cherry tomatoes, corn, black beans, bell peppers, avocado and cooled quinoa into a large salad bowl.
- To make cilantro lime dressing, in a small bowl whisk together olive oil, light sour cream, lime zest and juice, garlic powder, cumin, salt, pepper and cilantro. Be sure to mix well. Pour all of the dressing over salad, and stir well to combine all ingredients thoroughly. Serve as a side dish or as a healthy meatless meal, and enjoy! (Store leftovers in a covered container in refrigerator).
Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!