Monday, July 29, 2013

Southwest Quinoa Salad

While the real big day isn't until tomorrow, we had my dad's 65th birthday party yesterday. It was a beautiful, fall-like, day here in July in Pittsburgh. We sat outside the entire time and the kids played. What a perfect family day!

My dad had asked me to bring a side dish. He was serving grilled organic chicken breast, chicken thighs, burgers, and a salad. I decided to try to find something as clean as possible, since my step-mom and I both like to keep it clean :)

After doing some searching, I came across Melanie's recipe (that she got from Sara Stakely) for Southwest Quinoa Salad. You can find her original HERE.

I tweaked it, just a bit, to fit my needs and my measuring style :) I was a bit skeptical of how it would turn out, but MAN was it good! Everyone loved it, including my kids!


  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 3T (roughly) of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • pinch of salt
  • pepper to taste (I used a pinch)
  • 2 cups, cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 1 medium zucchini (or squash), diced
  • 2 plum tomatos, diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 can organic whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
  1. Mix the first 6 ingredients in a bowl and set aside to blend together. (lemon juice, evoo, cilantro, cumin, salt, and pepper)
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a serving bowl and toss till mixed.
  3. Pour the lemon juice concoction onto the quinoa concoction and mix thoroughly.
  4. Chill in the fridge for at LEAST an hour to let the flavors absorb. 
  5. Enjoy!
This was seriously one of the best salads I have had all summer. It was so light and refreshing. It would be PERFECT for a hot summer night paired with turkey burgers! Let me know what you think and if you make any changes!


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