Mexican Quinoa Salad

Okay, so here’s the deal. I, like every other red-blooded American with low self esteem want 2014 to be different. Better. Healthier. More fit. Blah  blah blah blah blah.

Really I do, I just refuse to subscribe to the whole ‘resolutions’ thing. If there is a train everyone is on, I do not want to be a part of it. Unless it’s a train on the way to Six Flags; I’d want to be on that train.

I did make a personal, private, silent (very non-resolutiony) commitment to update this blog more, and look at me! 2 posts in 1 month.

So, our first grocery trip of 2014 was super green, super organic, super SOY. It felt great. It also cost about $80 more than a typical grocery trip of raspberry sorbet, cookie dough, and frozen pizza. This is $80 I would normally put towards an eyebrow wax and a tan, so pardon my appearance.

I have to say though, I literally felt cooler carrying my reusable Wegman’s bags full of brussell sprouts, green beans and organically pasteurized no-pesticide multi colored peppers. Then I stopped for a Double Dog at Dairy Queen on the way home and that feeling disappeared.

photo 1

On to the  good stuff. There are lots and lots of yummy HEALTHY things in this salad and quinoa is a great power food. It is actually called one of the World’s healthiest foods. Great source of protein (all 9 amino acids), vitamin B, and fiber. Its like the Popeye spinach of our generation.

This is one of those recipes where you could just look at the photo and figure out how to make it, but I always give you guys too much credit.

Also, I guess this could be made without grilled chicken for all you weirdos who don’t enjoy meat. I know I’ve said this in past posts but I just really really don’t understand you people. Moving on.

2 cups diced grilled chicken breast
3 cups cooked quinoa (3/4 cup uncooked….this stuff really expands)
3/4 cup diced red onion
1 clove garlic, crushed (please use fresh, please.)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 medium fresh tomato, diced, or 10-15 cherry tomatoes quartered
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2  teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (one 16 oz. can) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups (one 15 oz. can) corn, drained
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 orange pepper, diced (or yellow or red, get crazy!)

photo 2

This is where things start to get super complicated. You have to mix all of the ingredients together. In no particular order. If you are a ‘by-the-book’ kind of person….do it in this order:

Combine the diced grilled chicken, cooked and cooled quinoa, diced onion, garlic, and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl.

Chop cilantro, then stir into quinoa along with seasonings, black beans, and corn.

Stir in oil, tomato, and peppers, immediately before serving. I feel like this should be served at room temperature or chilled, but I know nothing.

These posts don’t feel complete without suggesting some type of beverage pairing. Plus, I’ve read it’s important to keep a common thread going throughout one’s blog posts. I’ve decided my common thread will be, surprise, alcohol. So, go buy yourself a box of ‘Refreshing White’; you read that correctly, I said box, and enjoy. For reals though, boxed wine is making a comeback people (plus you’re being an eco-minded consumer) ….. Black Box Wines


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