Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mexican Quinoa Salad

So apparently my new thing is to wake up an hour earlier than my alarm one day a week now.  Let me tell you how much I love that.  There are silver linings to that though.  I get extra snuggle time with Dolce, plenty of time to enjoy some solitude of the early morning, I can take my time sipping my coffee as opposed to guzzling it and of course, an early morning blogging sesh.  Maybe it's not so bad!

Maybe I hopped out of bed so early today because of all the vegetables I've been eating.  My body must actually be getting nutrients or something.  Sooo, I'm continuing with my pre-thanksgiving "detox".  Let's be real here.  It's not a detox.  I had left over chili dip for dinner last night.  However,  I did enjoy the leftover spring rolls yesterday for lunch and they held up beautifully!  I individually wrapped them in plastic wrap and stored them in a container in the fridge.  The avocado did get a little soggy but they were delicious, nonetheless.

I'm super excited about lunch today!.  I've gotten in the habit of keeping quinoa in my pantry (by pantry I mean cabinets or cupboards since my "pantry" actually houses my washer and dryer).  I buy it in the bulk aisle at the Good Foods Co-op and it's ready to go when I need it.  I know the internet appears to be overrun by excessive amounts of quinoa recipes so I figured one more wouldn't hurt.  This particular recipe is my take on a mexican inspired salad.  I LOVE mexican food.  Who am I kidding.  I just love food.  All of it.  I actually cooked the quinoa a couple of days ago and stored it in the fridge.  That makes it so much easier to throw this recipe together!  I just had to make the dressing and chop some veggies.  Can't get much easier than that!  I wanted to make this as healthy as possible so I used kale, peppers, tomatoes and to add a little flare, roasted corn.  In the spirit of versatility you can add whatever you want.  It's completely vegetarian and possibly vegan.  I honestly have no idea what qualifies something as vegan.  I've never looked into it because I heard a rumor that cheese is not vegan.  No dice.  No offense to anyone who is vegan though.  Good for you!

Enough chit chat.  Let's get moving with this recipe!  Oh, and I'll post the link for the easy bow tutorial that I was telling you about last week at the end of today's post!

Mexican Quinoa Salad


2 cups prepared quinoa
1 bag frozen corn
2 roma tomatoes
2 teaspoons chopped, pickled jalapeño
1/2 of a yellow bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 cup kale, roughly chopped
2 green onions, chopped

For the dressing:

2 avocados
2 limes, juice of both and zest of 1
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil
plain greek yogurt, optional

As I said, I prepared the quinoa in advance.  I just combined 1 cup of rinsed quinoa and 2 cups of vegetable broth in a sauce pan.  Bring it to a boil, cover and reduce heat.  Let simmer for about 20 minutes or until the liquid has cooked down.  Meanwhile,  in a 375 degree oven roast the frozen corn for 10-15 minutes.  I placed the frozen corn on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil.  Next, in a large bowl add quinoa and all the vegetables, including the corn.

For the dressing:  Place both of the avocados, zest of one lime, juice of 2 limes, oregano, cumin, cilantro, salt and pepper (and greek yogurt if you choose) in a blender.  Put the lid on and start to blend.  Slowly stream in olive oil until your desired consistency is reached. Taste to adjust seasoning.  I normally need to add a little more salt.  I like my dressing for this particular salad on the thicker side so I only used about 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil.

Once the dressing is prepared, mix in with the salad.  It's my humble opinion that this dish is better on the second day so I leave it in the fridge overnight and serve the next day.  The choice is yours though!!

As promised, here's a picture of the burlap bows.  I love how it turned out.  It's burlap so I think simple is best.  I couldn't have done it without finding Tidbit's and Twine's tutorial on bow making!  Has anyone else started their decorating or am I the only Christmas crazy person?  Other than my parents, of course!

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