A plant-based, high-protein, fiber-filled salad or main dish that includes a mouthful sweet, tangy, and spicy Southwestern flavors. Get ready to wake up your mouth!
My new workmate Emma, is smart, assertive, self-motivated, an Excel wizard, and…adorable. She’s 22 years old and she reminds me a lot of my two daughters. One of the things that really impresses me about Emma is how much time and effort she puts into preparing and eating healthy food. I am continually inspired by her morning smoothies, creative leftovers, and new concoctions she’s prepared for the first time. Just yesterday she arrived with a huge container of veggies that she roasted with some sort of beer-and-onion-containing-sauce. I must admit, I was a little shocked (and equally impressed) at how many of those veggies Emma was able to put down in 30 minutes.
A few days ago I brought Emma some of this Tex Mex Quinoa Salad: slightly crunchy quinoa, cool and crispy veggies, a squeeze or two of lime, some very good olive oil, and a few of the must-include southwestern spices, including my secret weapon, Tajin. Emma really like the salad and she’s asked me a few times to share the recipe so here it is. Emma – this is for you!
This Tex Mex Quinoa Salad is…
- A great source of protein. Quinoa is a whole grain that is a complete source of plant-based protein. That’s good news for vegans and vegetarians.
- Loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Just look at all the different colors in this salad! Each one provides your body with something different you need to stay healthy.
- High in fiber. Women need about 25 grams of fiber per day and men need 38. This salad has 13 grams of fiber per serving. Wowza!
- Crunchy, crispy, zippy (from the Tajin) and just a little spicy. Mmmm!
- Rinse first. Rinse the quinoa, thoroughly with cold water, in a mesh strainer before cooking. That get’s rid of its slightly bitter taste.
- Quinoa Cooking 101: Cook the quinoa according to instructions in a rice cooker or a pot, except, use less water than the package says. I use one part quinoa to 1.5 parts water or broth. (Example: 1 cup of quinoa to 1.5 cups water). That’s why the grains in this quinoa salad look “separate” and not all mushed together. This is key if you like your quinoa a little dry – which I do.
- Do NOT stir. Don’t stir the quinoa while cooking, and don’t stir it directly after it’s cooked. Once it’s cooked, remove the lid then gently lift it a few times with two forks, letting the steam stream out. Do this every five minutes for a total of 30 minutes. This really helps keep the quinoa from becoming mushy. Mushy quinoa is no fun and does not work well in this recipe. ☹
- Where to get Tajin: Tajin is found in the Mexican/Hispanic section of many grocery stores. It’s a spice made with dried chili peppers, dehydrated lime, and salt. If you don’t have it just leave it out. The recipe will be just as good.
Finally, one of the really great things about this Tex Mex Quinoa Salad is that you can eat it anytime: topped with an egg for breakfast, as a quick and healthy lunch (it’s even better the next day!), as a meatless main dish, stuffed into a wrap or a pita, or even as a bedtime snack. I hope you’ll try it soon. I know you’ll love it.
Peace, love and good eats; from our empty nest to yours.
Trending in the EN Kitchen: Simply Organic Chipotle Powder, found in many grocery stores.
Tex Mex Quinoa Salad
Yield 2-4 servings
- 1 ½ cups cooked quinoa (read the Cooking Tips above)
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed, drained
- 1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup chopped peppers (any color)
- 2-4 tablespoons diced green onion
- ¼ cup chopped cherry tomatoes
- 1 ½ tablespoons good olive oil
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
- ½ fresh lime, juiced
- ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon, low sodium Tajin
- Optional - ¼ teaspoon chipotle powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional – fresh chopped cilantro
- In a medium size bowl combine the cooked quinoa, olive oil, all of the spices including Tajin, and the lime juice. Stir gently but well.
- Fold in the corn, black beans, peppers, green onion, and chopped tomatoes.
- Check taste, season with salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with chopped cilantro if using.
- Serve immediately or chill and serve later.
- Recipe analysis is for a main dish - two servings.
- Analysis does not include the addition of extra salt to taste.
Serving Size 1/2 recipe for a main dish, 1/4 for a side dish
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 13 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Sodium 280 mg
Total Carbohydrates 59 g
Dietary Fiber 13 g
Protein 14 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.