Southwest quinoa salad is simple, healthy and versatile. A combination of fresh and dried herbs for an authentic Mexican flavor profile. Easy salad recipe can be a side or Meatless Monday Main Meal.
I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for recipes that are simple, healthy and can be made ahead. This quinoa recipe has a been a staple in my repertoire for years because it serves so many of my everyday needs.
As far as grains go, quinoa is a really good choice. It has a neutral flavor (ie: BORING all by itself) so it will take on whatever herbs/spices you want it to. I love a blank canvas to work with! Quinoa has a lot going for it nutritionally—-high in protein, low in fat, high in antioxidants—-so it makes a great addition to a healthy, whole food, plant based diet.
Often I will improvise if I don’t have all of the ingredients on hand, but want to have a quinoa salad with this tasty dressing. No scallions, no problem! Throw in chopped shallots or even a small purple onion instead. If I don’t have cilantro, I’ll use some chopped fresh parsley, or even chives. You don’t like red peppers? Use chopped cucumbers, or radish. The dressing is so good—-a little sweet from the OJ, flavorful from the cumin and so fresh from the lemon juice—–you just can’t go wrong! It’s all right and it’s all good!
I often eat it as a snack when I get home from the gym starving….just toss in a handful of chopped nuts and I’m a happy camper; I send it with my kids for lunch with grilled chicken……a fantastic meal in one bowl; more often than not, I use it as a side dish for whatever is for dinner……..and I’ve even stuffed endive leaves with this quinoa and served it at a party as finger food!
- ¾ cup dry quinoa
- 4 scallions
- 1 red pepper
- ½ cup fresh parsley
- ½ cup fresh cilantro
- ½ bag frozen corn
- 1 can black beans, rinsed
- ½ bag frozen edamame, shelled
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- Make quinoa: Rinse, drain and add to small saucepan with 1 ½ cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer, cover and cook until water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
- Place all dressing ingredients into a jar with tight fitting lid. Shake until fully mixed. There will be more dressing than you need for this recipe. Store remaining dressing in jar in the fridge. It is terrific over a chopped salad.
- Prepare veggies for salad and add to bowl: thinly slice scallions, dice red pepper, chop parsley and cilantro. Drain beans, rinse well and add to bowl along with frozen corn and beans.
- Take cooked quinoa and add to veggies. Pour about ½ the dressing over mixture and toss really well. Let sit for at least 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adding more dressing or salt/pepper as needed.
Serving Size1 1/2 cups
Amount Per Serving Calories 16Total Fat 1gCarbohydrates 1g