Mexican Quinoa Salad with Fresh Guacamole

First: commit to eating nutrient-rich foods and revamp your diet and lifestyle. Second: allow your food choices to become more in depth, sophisticated and meaningful as you become knowledgeable about healthy food. Third: learn to respond to you are a picky eater with, “thanks for the verbal applause!” Simply put, being a picky eater is a compliment – to you and the choices you make to better your health and well being.  When my doctor recommended eating a gluten free diet, I wasn’t surprised to see that most of the nutrient powerhouses were completely devoid of gluten. With this, my favorite replacement for pasta and grains is quinoa. It is a seed that has twice the protein of most other grains and is high in fiber, iron, and magnesium. As Dr. Frank Lipman says in his new monthly column for Refinery29, it is the super food for 2013 and has twice the calcium as whole wheat!  Another wonderful thing about quinoa is its versatility; it is delicious as a salty or sweet dish and nutritious either way.  You can add it to salads, soups, oatmeal, granola, or even soak it overnight in some almond milk and add fruit and nuts in the morning!  My friend, Tara, came over for dinner last night and we were both craving something savory and hot, but still healthy.  I found this awesome Mexican Quinoa salad from Annie’s Eats and adapted it by omitting the corn and adding red pepper and red onion (two of my favorites!)  I also whipped up some fresh guacamole and we used that as a topping as well. This will certainly be something I make every week now; however, next week I decided I will try adding mushrooms (my real favorite). I hope you enjoy!

mexican salad-9

2 tsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
½ red pepper, chopped
½ small red onion, chopped
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well and drained
1¼ cups vegetable broth
1 can (1½ cups) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juices
½ tsp. kosher salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ lime freshly squeezed

Toppings of choice (keep it moderate!): fat free shredded cheese, light sour cream, salsa, and homemade guacamole (recipe below).


  1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add garlic, jalapeños, red pepper and onion to the pan and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Stir in the the quinoa, veggie broth, beans, diced tomatoes, and salt to the pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover.
  4. Simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the liquid is fully absorbed.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in the cilantro and lime juice.

Homemade Guacamole

3 small ripe avocados
2-3 roma tomatoes
½ small red onion, finely chopped
¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
½ lime, freshly squeezed
¾ tsp. kosher salt
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, ribbed, and finely minced
Thinly sliced lime, for garnish

Very easy!  Scoop the flesh of avocados into a medium bowl and mash with a fork. Add the onion, tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and jalapeño and add seasonings as you go.


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