Mexican(ish) Quinoa

Whle in Yakima, (my high school hometown, not to be confused with Walla Walla, where my heart to resides and I consider my true hometown), I attempted to post a few times, but my parents live out of town, to the point where the only Internet available is via satellite. And before you start humming yourself a little Dave Matthews,

I’ll have you know you cannot watch that youtube video at an acceptable speed out at my parents house.

So instead of boo hooing about the fact that I couldn’t update y’all on my super-exciting life, I took a blogging break. I didn’t even read blogs.

Ok, that isn’t entirely true. I did read some of my favorites, and got shamelessly addicted to a new one. My friend, Mandy, tipped me off to The Bloggess, via the now-viral Pick Your Battles post.

I laughed. I cried. I wanted to leave a giant chicken on my own front porch. And I know I’ll be purchasing the greeting card for a friend or two.

While in town, my mom asked me to show her how to make quinoa. She purchased a bag years ago, and let it sit on the shelf, assuming some day she would run across a recipe calling for quinoa. She never did, and eventually threw the bag out. Saturday was her lucky day. I whipped up some of my favorite sauce to marinade our chicken, and set to work on a Mexican(ish) quinoa salad. This recipe isn’t much different than any other quinoa salad I’ve made before, but it is very tasty, and therefore must be shared.

Mexican(ish) Quinoa Salad

Salad Ingredients
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
2 cups chicken broth  (or water)
1 can black beans, rinsed/drained
2 oz cojita cheese, crumbled
½ red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, diced
½ sweet onion, diced
10 grape tomatoes, halved
½ bunch cilantro, stems removed
1 ½ avocado, diced

Dressing Ingredients
Juice of one lime
3 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp chili powder
2 TBS stone ground mustard
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper to taste


Bring chicken broth, or water, to a boil. Add rinsed quinoa and reduce to simmer, 15 minutes. Remove from heat, place lid on pot, and let sit for 5 minutes. Place cooked quinoa in a bowl and place in fridge to cool.

Meanwhile, mix black beans, cojita cheese, onion, bell pepper, tomatoes and cilantro in a large bowl. In a small bowl, wisk together all sauce ingredients. When quinoa is cooled, add all ingredients together, mixing in diced avocado at the end (to prevent browning).

Enjoy as a side dish to chicken or fish, or as a vegetarian entree.