Mexican Quinoa Salad is a new family favorite. Protein packed with two cups of quinoa, black beans, peppers, jalapeños, green onions, fresh corn, and Cotija cheese – topped with rice wine vinegar and the AMAZING Creamy Avocado Dressing!
Every time I make quinoa, Mike gives me that look. He likes to take credit (and credit is due!) for introducing me to the grain, back when it was new to cook with. I seriously drug my feet because he likes to tweet food and recipe ideas to me, and that time I made kale didn’t go so well. He even suggested that I make “kale chips” once, and I bought him a store-bought bag of them instead. 🙂
Quinoa is a SUPER food. It’s a seed (prepared as a grain) that is high in protein and loaded with vitamins and minerals. It’s also high in fiber, naturally gluten-free (if you are watching that), and is low on the glycemic index.
A few other notes about this recipe:
- Using two cups of raw quinoa ends up to be about 6 – 7 cups after cooking. With the addition of all the veggies, this salad makes a huge bowl. It lasts several days in the refrigerator, but you could easily cut the recipe in half.
- Fresh corn on the cob is key. I boiled four ears and cut the corn kernels off of the cobs. The crunch absolutely makes this salad – don’t use canned!
- The Cotija cheese is a Mexican (crumbled) cheese, that is really important for flavor. You can find it at most grocery stores.
- I added the rice wine vinegar to the salad for flavor, but mostly to keep the quinoa from sticking together. My Creamy Avocado Dressing is added right before serving.
- You can buy quinoa on Amazon in large quantities (four pound bag). Here it is if you want to try it.
- You can also warm up individual servings of this salad. My family likes it cold, but I like it both ways.
The rice wine vinegar DOES give the salad a nice flavor. But my Creamy Avocado Dressing gives it an OUTSTANDING flavor! It’s totally worth making, and it stores well in the refrigerator too.
Ingredients need for the dressing:
- plain greek yogurt
- lime juice
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- water to thin it – if needed
I just throw it all in a food processor and it’s done in a few seconds.
I love eating salads in the summer. In fact, I crave them! And it’s a very good thing, cuz crazing salads instead of nachos is better for the figure. We are now IN shorts and swimsuit season. That means it’s time to lighten up, and get our salads on.
Meet ya at the pool! 🙂
Try this salad recipe next: Spinach Salad with Honey Dijon Dressing
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- 2 cups quinoa
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 15 oz. can black beans - rinsed and drained
- 1 bunch green onions - diced
- 1/2 medium red pepper - diced
- 1/2 medium yellow pepper - diced
- 2 medium jalapeños - diced (one with seeds, one without) - use less if you are wary of the spiciness
- 4 ears corn - boiled and corn removed
- 1 cup cotija cheese - crumbled
- salt and pepper - to taste
- 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar - or more
- 1 large avocado
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons cilantro
- 1 large jalapeno
- 1 large lime - freshly squeezed
- salt and pepper - to taste
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons water - if needed to thin the dressing
Do these two things in advance:
* Rinse the quinoa in cold water. In medium pan, bring chicken broth to a boil, and add quinoa. Bring to rolling simmer and cook until the liquid cooks out. When done, pour quinoa into a large bowl. Set aside.
* Boil corn by bringing water to a boil - in a large saucepan. Then add corn and salt. Cover and turn off the heat. Set timer for 15 minutes. When done, remove corn to cool.
Rinse and drain black beans. Dice up the onions and pepper. Cut the corn kernels off of the cobs.
When quinoa and corn are cool, combine all salad ingredients in bowl, add rice wine vinegar, and store in refrigerator.
Place avocado, greek yogurt, cilantro, jalapeño, salt, pepper, and lime juice in food processor. Add olive oil and if necessary to thin out, add water.
Store dressing in refrigerator.
This is a large recipe. For a smaller recipe, cut it in half.