This delicious Mexican Quinoa Salad was inspired by the Fort Collins Food Cooperative. As a Fort Collins Nutritionist and grad student in the MS/RD coordinated program at Colorado State University, I spent some time volunteering at the Food Co-op to fulfill food service experience requirements. It was a blast and different than I expected. I made several quick and easy recipes loaded with fresh vegetables and real food nutrition. Many were even suitable for those on the gluten free diet (like me)!
So. . . I wanted to share my favorite part of working at the Food Co-op with you– I made a similar recipe at the Co-op to serve 50. This version was inspired by the Co-op and scaled down to make-at-home-size. According to my sister-in-law, my nephew “cannot stop talking about the quinoa salad with the avocado” (he gobbled at least two servings of this tasty salad when they were visiting). I LOVE when kids gobble real food loaded with veggies! Now its your turn. . . enjoy!
Mexican Quinoa Salad with Avocado Dressing
Total time: 30 minutes
Yield: about 8 servings
3/4 cup quinoa (white, red, or tricolor)
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups black beans (pre-cooked or 1 can)
1/2 cup finely diced red onions (or chopped scallions)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 cup cilantro
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 cup spinach, chopped
1. Rinse quinoa until water runs clear, put in saucepan and dry roast for about 2 minutes. Add water to quinoa and bring to a boil, simmer on medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until water is absorbed. Set aside to cool.
3. In a blender or food processor, add the cilantro, avocado, olive oil, lime juice, sea salt, cumin, and paprika. Blend until smooth and creamy.
4. To the large bowl, add the cooled quinoa, dressing, and chopped spinach. Stir well to combine.
5. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator. This Quinoa Salad will store in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Enjoy as an entree or side dish.