Southwest Quinoa Salad

Southwest-Quinoa-Salad

Southwest Quinoa Salad

This is Quinoa Southwest Salad is probably my favorite, favorite quinoa salad. I could eat the whole bowl. I really could. The southwestern dressing and a bowl full of good stuff – I hope you like it too.

INGREDIENTS

Quinoa, 1 cup
See how to cook quinoa in rice cooker

Feta, 1 Cup

Black beans, 1 can (15 oz)

Red or yellow pepper, diced small

Corn, 1 can (15 oz)

Spinach or some kind of greens (I like to use an arugula/green mix)

Red onion, diced very, very small

Dressing

Fresh lime juice, 1/2 cup (I used two limes)

Red wine vinegar, 3 Tablespoons

Olive Oil 1/4 Cup

Cayenne powder, 1/4 teaspoon
This has a slight bite, if you want less, use less)

Cumin, 1 Tablespoon

Salt, 1/2 teaspoon

Pepper, a few dashes

HOW TO PREPARE

1.) Cook quinoa. I like to cook my quinoa in a rice cooker. Don’t have a rice cooker? Cook on the stove top by bring 1 1/4 cup water or chicken broth to a boil (basically the ratio is 1 part quinoa to 1.25 part liquid). Add 1 Cup rinsed quinoa, give it a good stir, reduce heat to low and let it simmer for about 30-35 minutes.

2.) While your quinoa is simmering, make up your dressing by whisking together all dressing ingredients. In a separate bowl add black beans (rinsed, drained), corn (rinsed, drained), diced pepper, spinach and red onion.

3.) Allow quinoa to cool completely. Once cooled and right before serving, add all ingredients together in a large bowl and stir. If you want to make it ahead of time – I’d just add the lettuce and feta at the time of serving.

Southwest-Quinoa-Salad-cumin

Quinoa-Southwest-Salad-feta

What is your favorite quinoa recipe? 

I’d love to hear what you think if you try any of these recipes! 

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Seahawks Party Food – Seahawks Salad with Blueberries

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Like Watergate salad? Well that’s basically what this is – but I added blueberries because you can’t have the green without the blue! And I think it’s the perfect complement to the pineapple and pistachio flavor. My KIDS love this and I hope you do too.

Recipe from the Jell- Pistachio pudding box.

INGREDIENTS

1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple, in juice, undrained

1 package (3.4 oz) JELL-O Pistachio flavor instant pudding

1.5 Cups thawed Cool Whip Whipped Topping

1 Cup Jet-Puffed miniature marshmallows

1-2 Cups fresh blueberries

Optional: 1/2 Cup chopped pecans (I left them out)

Optional: Garnish with lime?

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Black Quinoa Salad recipe – Mangoes, avocados, peppers, lime

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Originally published last year, I wanted to republish this one because it’s so easy to make and it would add some great color to your meals this time of year.

Black Quinoa Salad recipe

If you are a fan of quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), you should give this black quinoa salad recipe a try! It’s incredibly refreshing and I love the colors!

Black-Quinoa-salad

Black quinoa has a nuttier and more of a roasted flavor than regular quinoa. It’s actually a seed. And it’s unique because quinoa is a complete protein! It expands like rice when it’s cooked and becomes a fluffier grain.

INGREDIENTS

Black quinoa, 1 cup dried (will be more when you cook it)

2 ripe mangoes, diced

1 red pepper, de-seeded and diced

1 orange pepper, de-seeded and diced

1 avocado, diced

Optional: cilantro, spinach

Dressing: 

Fresh lime juice, 1/2 cup (I used two limes)

Red wine vinegar, 3 Tablespoons

Olive oil, 1/4 Cup

Cayenne powder 1/4 teaspoon (this had a slight bite, if you want less, use less)

Cumin, 1 Tablespoon

Salt, 1/2 teaspoon

Pepper, a few dashes

HOW TO PREPARE

How-to-Rinse-Quinoa-flour-sack

1.) Rinse quinoa. Although most commercial quinoa these days has already been rinsed before you buy it – an extra rinse can’t hurt. Especially if you’re buying from a bulk bin. Because it is such a fine grain, I like to use a flour sack towel, over a colander to rinse and drain it (I use the same thing to strain my homemade chicken broth). Grab the tops of the flour sack and squeeze the liquid out.

2.) Cook quinoa. I prefer to cook quinoa in the rice cooker. It’s so easy. Just rinse it and toss it into the rice cook with a quinoa to water ration of 1:2 (for this recipe 1 cup quinoa, 2 cups water). Cook your quinoa.

Black-Quinoa-Salad-Avocado-Mango-peppers

3.) While quinoa cooks, dice all your ingredients. It’s like a rainbow. . .ahhhh.

3.) Once quinoa has cooled, add all the diced ingredients (if you are making ahead, you can hold off on avocado, so it doesn’t turn color or get mushy).

4.) Mix together dressing ingredients, pour into quinoa.

5.) Stir and serve. This salad can be served immediately, but I like chilling it in the fridge beforehand.

Recommended: Take it to a potluck. You will be a rockstar.

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Have you cooked with black quinoa before? What’s your favorite black quinoa salad recipe?

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You might like my other quinoa recipes here:

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Quinoa Salad Recipes – Easy and great for barbecues or potlucks

Black-quinoa-salad-mangoes-limeBlack Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad Recipes

If you have a potluck or barbecue planned this weekend – bring a Quinoa Salad. It could not get easier to make and people are still wildly impressed by them. You can get quinoa at Costco or in the bulk bins at WinCo or your favorite co-op.

Quinoa-Strawberry-Goat-Cheese-Salad

Quinoa, Strawberries, Goat Cheese, Pine Nut Salad
Strawberries are on sale this week! Costco has pine nuts and goat cheese.

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Roasted chicken pesto pasta salad

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Roasted Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad

We are still on a big budget challenge this month, so I’m trying to avoid the store as much as possible. Sunday I roasted two chickens I had in the freezer – with plans to eat leftovers the next day. I thought we would have roasted chicken salad, but I never made it to the store for fresh lettuce. So we had a roasted chicken pesto pasta salad.

The best thing about this meal is we had everything on hand. The pasta was in our stockpile, I made the pesto last fall and it was in the freezer, and I tossed it with pine nuts and parmesan.

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Here are instructions for making homemade pesto. I make it anytime I can find basil on markdown at the grocery store. It freezes so well – I like to freeze it in 1 Tablespoon dollops in my mini muffin pan.

Roasting-Two-ChickensPin it.

Here are instructions for roasting your whole chickens. I almost always roast two at once – the amount of work is nearly the same as if you roast one, but you have leftovers the next day. Or if you’re in a hurry pick up a rotisserie chicken at the store.

To make the pasta salad:

1.) Boil your pasta per the instructions on the box. We used a wheat penne pasta.

2.) If your pesto is frozen (mine was), add it to a sauce pan with a little water and melt it over low to medium heat.

3.) Slice up your roasted chicken into bite size pieces.

4.) Drain your pasta, save a little pasta water (a couple Tablespoons) and pour into pesto. Heat pesto and heat up until it’s a consistency you like.

4.) In a large bowl toss together pasta, chicken and pesto. Stir well so pesto coats everything. Then shave real parmesan cheese on top and toasted pine nuts.

I wish I would had some big bella mushrooms or cherry tomatoes to add, but that would have required a trip to the store and money, which I’m trying to save.

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What’s your favorite pasta salad? What’s your favorite pesto meal?

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Quinoa Avocado Spinach Salad, with lemon and chickpeas

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I’m kind of a quinoa addict. If you’ve been following my recipes, you probably already know this. This Quinoa Avocado Spinach Salad with lemon and chickpeas is yet another version of a quinoa salad – this one is full of protein with garbanzo beans, avocado and the quinoa itself (did you know quinoa is high in protein? It is!).

INGREDIENTS

1-2 cups cooked quinoa (cook your quinoa in the rice cooker!)
Costco is a great place to buy quinoa.

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

2 avocados, peeled and diced

1 cup cherry tomatoes

2 cups of spinach, washed and dried

1 bunch of cilantro, washed and chopped finely

1/4 cup of red onion, diced very small

2 small cloves of garclic

DRESSING INGREDIENTS

Juice of two lemons

Zest of one lemon

2 teaspoons dijon mustard

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 teaspoon agave nectar (I used honey)

1/2 teaspoon cumin

salt and pepper to taste

HOW TO PREPARE

1.) Take your cooked quinoa and add all your ingredients to it.

2.) Whisk together your dressing in a separate bowl. Mix well.

3.) Pour over quinoa and and other ingredients. Toss until it’s evenly coated!

I use a lot of fresh lemon juice in my recipes, I have something similar to this Progressive International Lemon Squeezer (Amazon).

This salad recipe is part of our Soup and Salad recipe series!  You might also like:

Do you have a favorite soup or salad? Send it in! You could get a $10 Amazon gift card if I feature your recipe!

Source: This recipe is from Diva Dish

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Roasted Carrot and Goat Cheese Salad

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I love the colors and flavors of this Roasted Carrot and Goat Cheese Arugula Salad. You have the spicy arugula, the tart goat cheese, the sweet flavor of the roasted carrots and the sourness of the balsamic vinegar. You could substitute spinach for the arugula, if you’d like.

INGREDIENTS

Roasted carrots with balsamic vinegar (click for recipe)

Goat cheese. I buy mine at Costco, the Kirkland brand.

Arugula. Buy it pre-cut, washed in bags at most grocery stores (Trader Joe’s is a great deal!)

Slivered almonds (you can toast these if you want to get fancy) – or I bet toasted pine nuts would be amazing.

Craisins

Optional - Grilled chicken breasts.

OptionalThyme Roasted Croutons (click for recipe)

HOW TO PREPARE

1.) Spread out a nice bed of arugula onto a plate or in a bowl

2.) Layer with your roasted carrots – warm or cool, you’re choice

3.) Add your goat cheese – I just tear it apart with my fingers and sprinkle over top

4.) Add craisins and almonds

5.) Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil (not much)

6.) Salt and pepper to taste

This recipe was inspired by this Roasted Carrot Arugula salad from Patty’s Food.

This salad recipe is part of our Soup and Salad recipe series!

You might also like:

Do you have a favorite soup or salad? Send it in! You could get a $10 Amazon gift card if I feature your recipe

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Southwestern Salad with Avocado-Lime Dressing recipe

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This salad is super easy. Most of the ingredients can probably be found in your freezer or pantry. Add more of the ingredients you like and leave off the ones you don’t. You can’t really mess it up.

INGREDIENTS

2 Cups chopped romaine. I didn’t measure, that just seems silly. You basically just need a heap of lettuce.

1 can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained (about 1.5 cups)

1/2 Cup of black beans, rinsed and drained

1 Cup of Grape tomatoes

1/2 Cup fresh, frozen or canned corn kernels

1/3 Cup green onions (I left this off)

1/2 Cup shredded cheddar cheese

Optional – 1/3 Cup crushed tortilla chips

Optional – Sliced fresh avocado

DRESSING INGREDIENTS

1 ripe avocado

3/4 Cup salsa

1/2 cup low-fat sour cream

3 Tablespoons lime juice (I recommend fresh)

4 drops Tabasco sauce (optional)

HOW TO PREPARE

1.) Start with your romaine and top it with all salad ingredients. Add more of the things you like and less of what you don’t.

2.) In a separate bowl, mash ripe avocado with a fork until it’s mushy.  Whisk together with all the other dressing ingredients.

3.) Pour dressing over salad and serve with chips if you’d like.

Source: This recipe was adapted from a recipe I found in the May/June 2010 issue of Vegetarian Times. 

This salad recipe is part of our Soup and Salad recipe series!  You might also like:

Do you have a favorite soup or salad? Send it in! You could get a $10 Amazon gift card if I feature your recipe!

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Arugula Pasta Salad with Blue Cheese, Pecans

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This salad would make a great potluck dish or add chicken and it would easily be a filling dinner. This Arugula Pasta Salad combines spicy arugula with blue cheese and crunchy walnuts to make for a party in your mouth.

INGREDIENTS

6 ounces cooked pasta, such as bow tie or farfalle

2 Cups Arugula (preferably baby leaves, stems removed)
Trader Joe’s sells a bag of arugula for about $2

1 Cup Grape tomatoes

2 Tablespoons chives, chopped finely

2 Tablespoons chopped walnuts
I used pecans

1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil (extra virgin)

1/4 teaspoon table salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

3 Tablespoon blue cheese, crumbled

 HOW TO PREPARE

1.) Cook pasta according to instructions on package. Before draining, set aside 1 Tablespoon of pasta water. Drain noodles, pour into a bowl and mix in your arugula leaves while pasta is still hot. Cover. This lightly steams your arugula leaves!

2.) Toast chopped walnuts over medium-high heat until lightly browned. Set aside.

3.) Make your dressing – whisk together white wine vinegar, oil, reserved pasta water, salt and pepper.

4.) Pour dressing over salad and toss well. Sprinkle with nuts and blue cheese.

5.) Add chicken to make this meal more substantial.

This salad recipe was sent in from Jill as part of our Soup and Salad recipe series! Since I am featuring it on the blog, Jill gets a $10 Amazon gift card!

You might also like:

Do you have a favorite soup or salad? Send it in! You could get a $10 Amazon gift card if I feature your recipe!

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Quinoa Lemon Salad recipe

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This is a very refreshing salad. It’s light and if you use a rice cooker to cook your quinoa – would take you less than 20 minutes of prep time (mostly chopping and mixing dressing).

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 Cups cooked quinoa
Costco has a great deal on organic quinoa. You can also buy it in bulk at places like Winco.

1/2 Cup pine nutes

1 english cucumber, peeled and finely diced

1  Cup grape tomotoes

1/2 Cup red onion, finely, finely diced

1/2 Cup chopped parsley

1/4 Cup olive oil

3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I recommend using fresh lemons)

2 tsp grated lemon zest

HOW TO PREPARE

1.) Cook quinoa according to directions on package. I recommend cooking your quinoa in the rice cooker, that’s how I do it and I find it so much less painful than the stove top method.

2.) Toast pine nuts on medium-high heat. Don’t let them burn, just brown them.

3.) Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and lemon zest in a small bowl.

4.) After quinoa has cooled, mix quinoa with the cucumber, onion and parsley. Stir in the dressing. Top with pine nuts. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I actually think this salad tastes better the second day – after everything has come together in the fridge overnight. I would also suggest topping with some feta cheese, if you like that kinda thing.

Source: This recipe was adapted from a recipe in the January/February 2011 issue of Vegetarian Times!

This salad recipe is part of our Soup and Salad recipe series!  You might also like:

Do you have a favorite soup or salad? Send it in! You could get a $10 Amazon gift card if I feature your recipe!

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links support this site, see our disclosure policy here