Monday, June 11, 2012

Southwest Quinoa Salad

How beautiful does this dish look! I almost hated to eat it! (ALMOST) My very good  friend, Michele, gave me this recipe last Summer and it has remained on heavy menu-rotation in my kitchen ever since. It's super simple to make and incredibly delicious! It's also lite and healthy. In my opinion, it's the perfect Summer dish.

I usually toss two extra chicken breasts (boneless skinless) into our weekend BBQ mix. (Yes, we grill every weekend year round.) And that way I always have the right amount of cooked chicken for this salad. If you are a vegetarian, simply leave the chicken out altogether. Maybe just add some more veggies. (The original recipe called for cucumber, celery, and some feta.) I have played around with it over the past few months, and ended up with more of a Southwest inspired version. So good!

Ingredients For Salad:
2 cups uncooked quinoa
1/4 tsp cumin
1 Lb grilled chicken, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, semi thawed
2 Hass avocados

 Ingredients For Dressing:
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbs lemon juice
3 Tbs rice vinegar
1 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
*Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Add the Better Than Boullion and 1/4 tsp cumin to the boiling water. I like to use Ancient Harvest Brand quinoa because it's pre-washed.
When quinoa is ready, fluff it with a fork and turn it out into a large bowl to cool. While quinoa is cooling, chop your bell pepper, green onion, cilantro, and chicken. Add all chopped ingredients along with your corn and black beans to a large salad bowl. Gently mix in the cooled quinoa. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Refrigerate for an hour so that all the flavors have time to meld. Right before serving, chop your avocado and gently fold in to salad.

LESLIE'S NOTES: I like to add my avocado to each individual dish I serve from the main bowl of this salad. That way we can enjoy the leftovers throughout the week without any brown avocado chunks in there. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from the one given to me by: Michele Carnohan. Thanks, Michele!

Southwest Quinoa Salad Will Be Participating In These Fantastic LINK PARTIES
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  1. Wow, looks fantastic. And Food on Friday is all about avocado this week. Can you post a link there? Food on Friday: Asparagus . Have a great day.

  2. Ooops - gave you the link for asparagus - silly me. This is the right one - Food on Friday

  3. I've fixed the link up for you Leslie - I think what happens is that Mr Linky puts in your last link for some reason - you have to delete that from the box and copy in the url for the post you want to link. Have a good day.

  4. Yum!! I love quinoa. Maybe I'll add this into our dinner schedule this week.

  5. Mmmmm....I love quinoa! Can't wait to give this a try. :)

  6. So yummy! Thanks for stopping by my blog so that I could find you!! Can't wait to make this :)

  7. Quinoa is awesome...This looks so yummy!

  8. Looks and sounds wonderful! Pinning for future menu planning. Saw your link on Friday Fun Party. :)

  9. Looks great - going to pin & try this weekend :) Found it on the Friday Fun Party

  10. Beautiful! I love the avocado fan! Please link up to Foodie Friday

  11. This looks fantastic. Just pinned it. Found you at Addicted to Recipes.

    1. Hi Blythe! Thank you so much for the pin! Have a great weekend!

  12. I have just started used quinoa, and this recipe looks fantastic! Thanks!

    1. You're welcome! This dish is a definite keeper!

  13. I am always looking for new ways to cook with quinoa. I would love for you to link up at Mealtime Monday!


  14. This looks so yummy! Great pictures. I would love for you to link this to my Sunday Slice party.


  15. Great recipe! Can`t wait to get home and prepare it :)

  16. We love quinoa but have never used it in a salad. This looks so good. (and we grill year round too, shoveling a path in the snow to the grill in the winter.) Thanks so much for sharing on Tout It Tuesday! Hope to see you next week.

  17. What a wonderful and fresh looking salad!!! Love the avocado on top!!!

  18. Wow! Another fantastic recipe - this sounds like a perfect side dish for grilled meats! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

  19. This looks like the perfect salad for summer! I love avocado and will use any excuse to put it on or in things. Thanks for sharing at Creative Thursday :)

  20. This is super delicious! I made it for dinner on Sunday night and have been enjoying the leftovers for lunch :) I will definitely be making this again!


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