Latin Chipotle Quinoa Salad

Latin Chipotle Quinoa Salad

Welcome, friends! After a couple of busy weekends (doing this and this), it was nice to have a calm(er) weekend this past weekend. It was a good weekend to get caught up, I guess, because I spent my day off spending two hours at Target (yeah…you can only imagine what the bill was when I left Target, considering I can spend 15 minutes in Target and still spend too much. All that time spent and the most exciting thing I got was a new hair dryer…). And while I worked on the weekend, Philip spent another 1 1/2 hours at Farm & Fleet…yes, we are officially homeowners. :) In addition to those errands, we had grocery runs (yep, that’s plural) and a little bit of time to just kick up our feet and relax.

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What wasn’t calmer was our weather…remember how I said last week that I had fallen in love with Madison in the spring and fall? Well, except for when the weather mixes up those two seasons and the spring feels more like fall. Even though I had to break out my hat this weekend to go on a morning run, I still have faith that the weather is going to turn itself around soon. And what better way to encourage it than by turning up the heat in the kitchen with Latin Chipotle Quinoa Salad.

This salad has just a tinge of heat from the adobo sauce, but nothing that’s going to send you searching for some water or milk. Plus, with all the fresh ingredients, including avocado, tomatoes, cilantro, and lime, this recipe is not short on flavor.

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Lately I’ve been on a kick of making fresh salads — including my Roasted Beet & Farro Salad I posted last year — and pairing it with some type of grilled meat. These meals couldn’t be any easier to make, plus I can prepare them ahead of time if my nights ahead are looking too busy. I think of all the salads I’ve been making lately, though, this one is one of my favorites.

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For some extra protein, I grilled up some chicken breasts that I seasoned with just a little bit of paprika and freshly ground pepper. And if you haven’t jumped on the quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) bandwagon yet, get on it already! It cooks up pretty much the same way you would cook rice, is a whole grain (giving you more fiber and nutrients than other refined grains would), and is a complete protein source, meaning it has all the essential amino acids your body needs. While the quinoa cooks, you can prep all the ingredients. Combine everything together, and you’ve got yourself an amazing tasting salad. Easy peasy.

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For a simple yet flavorful side or main dish, you’ll want to give this a try. Latin Chipotle Quinoa Salad — with all its fresh ingredients — will for sure put you in the summer mood (even if the weather says otherwise).

Latin Chipotle Quinoa Salad

Serves 10 as a side
Adapted from: InHarvest

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 8 oz (~1 1/4 cups) tri-color quinoa
  • 5 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons chipotle in adobo sauce (use sauce only)
  • 1 avocado, pitted and diced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 bunch scallions, diced, green parts only (about 1/3 cup chopped)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup frozen or canned roasted corn (drain and rinse if using canned corn. You can also use fresh sweet corn)
  • 1 Roma tomato, seeded and diced

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, bring water to a boil; stir in quinoa. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 15 minutes, or until liquid is gone; cool.
  2. For dressing, slowly whisk olive oil into 3 tablespoons lime juice and adobo sauce until blended. Add dressing to quinoa and mix well.
  3. Coat diced avocado with lime juice to prevent browning (optional). Gently stir avocado, scallions, cilantro, corn, and tomato into quinoa mixture. Chill before serving.
  4. Serve in a wrap, as stuffed bell peppers or tomatoes, or by itself with cooked chicken.

Latin Chipotle Quinoa Salad