Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Quinoa Salad with Tangy Lime Dressing

Becca with the perfect summer recipe!  Yes, another one with quinoa, ha!  Quinoa is one of the few complete proteins, and also has lots of fiber and iron, and lots of other antioxidants & nutrients.  And it's gluten & fat free too.  In case you haven't tried it yet, if I had to compare it to something it would be rice, although the grains are smaller & the taste is a bit 'nuttier' but still very neutral.  I can buy quinoa at my local small town Walmart, but it's much less expensive in the bulk bins at the health food store (I shop at Ozark Natural Foods) or ordering online (I order from either Vitacost or Amazon, depending on who has the better price at the time).  My kids always happily eat it up, another bonus!  I even created a whole category of quinoa recipes here on Thrice the Spice, which you can access by clicking on quinoa on the far right under categories.  While I'm on the topic, I wanted to make sure that you knew that you can also search ALL of the Thrice the Spice recipes by using any word, such as cake, quinoa, rice, green beans, etc. by using the custom search box that's just above the categories box. 

This salad is so refreshing; I used this recipe as my inspiration.  It may be made ahead of time, like during naptime, so all you have to do is pull it out of the fridge and serve it for dinner.  It would also be great for a potluck dish.  The lime juice helps the avocado not turn too brown, but I usually prefer to add it at the end since this will serve my family of 5 twice.  Feel free to substitute some of the veggies for what you have or what your family prefers; for example, use cooked corn instead of the bell pepper, etc.  My husband doesn't normally prefer cumin at all, but LOVED this salad.  I can't wait for you to try this recipe, I think your family will really love it!  I served this for dinner, with my Red, White, & Blue "Celebrate America" fruit & yogurt for dessert, for a healthy, cool dinner, perfect for these hot summer nights!

Quinoa Salad with Tangy Lime Dressing

4 cups cooked & cooled quinoa
1 1/2 c. cooked black beans (1 can, 15 oz.)
2 medium avocados, cubed
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 handful fresh cilantro leaves

3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (or Real Lime juice)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

1.  Combine dressing ingredients (lime, cumin, olive oil, and salt) in a lidded container (I use a canning jar), and shake well to combine.

2.  Gently stir all remaining ingredients except avocado together in a large bowl (quinoa, black beans, grape tomatoes, bell pepper, and cilantro) along with dressing.  Serve immediately, or chill until time to serve.  Add avocado just before serving.  Enjoy!

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