Thursday, March 20, 2014

Mexi-Quinoa Lime Salad

Ahhhh, finally I feel like spring is springing! Which means it is time for new, not-so-hearty, healthy recipes! I LOVE SPRING. And I also love Mexican food. The yummy protein-packed-quinoa combined with a lime-olive oil dressing is refreshing and nutritious. So this recipe is a winner in my book!

Mexi-Quinoa Lime Salad
This recipe is not only delicious, but ridiculously simple to make. Here is what you'll need.
 -2 c. uncooked quinoa (~4 c. cooked quinoa)
-1 red pepper, diced
-1 jalapeno (or any spicy) pepper, diced
-1 can corn, rinsed
-1 can black beans, rinsed
-1 bunch scallions (~6-7) chopped
-1/2 bunch cilantro (1/4 c.) finely chopped
-Juice from 4 limes
-2/3c. olive oil
-salt, pepper, cumin to taste
First, RINSE your quinoa thoroughly with water. If you have ever omitted this step... you most likely suffered the side effect of having a terrible stomach ache after eating... yes this happened to me. So begin by rinsing! I have yet to find a better way to do this because quinoa falls through the strainer, so I used the cover to my pot and tried not to let all the quinoa fall out.
Look at the nasty bubbles that form (now imagine if you didn't rinse it)
If you are using 2 cups uncooked quinoa, add 3 cups of water and bring it to a boil. When it reaches boiling, turn the burner down to "low", cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes until all of the water has evaporated.

While you are waiting, dice up all of your vegetables (as pictured above) and drain and rinse the cans of corn and black beans. I tossed this all into a big bowl. When the quinoa is done, allow it to cool before adding it to the mixture! You can begin preparing the dressing.
Squeeze the juice of 4 limes and it should be ~1/3 cup. Add salt and pepper, and about 2/3c. of olive oil! You can add cumin (2 t.) but I didn't have any and my recipe tasted fine! I did add some ground white pepper "in place" just because I found it in the cabinet.
The simple final product: your dressing!
Cover the salad with the dressing, stir, and that is it! You are done!
There is nothing unhealthy about this recipe so I love it. You can serve it hot or cold, as a side-salad OR try adding some shredded chicken into the mix for a more filling entree! Wouldn't it be delicious to add shredded chicken covered in some taco seasoning? This provides about 8 one-cup servings.

ENJOY! And stay healthy my friends!
Swimsuit season is JUST around the corner (finally)!