Hellooo guys and dolls! So, here we are at number FOUR in my Summer Salad series guys – phew, the weeks coming into summer are flying by! This one is probably my favourite of the series so far (although I feel like I say that every week…). I LOVE spicy food, and I add ground spices to nearly everything I make. Some of my favourite spices are the typical ones used in Mexican-inspired recipes – smoky paprika, cumin, coriander – so I knew when I started this series that one of the salads HAD to be themed in this way!
Our key ingredients today are quinoa, kidney beans, red pepper, and a creamy avocado dressing (my pride and joy creation this week!). Because what is a Mexican-themed salad without guacamole vibes! This salad can be meat-free or meat-‘full’ as with most of my meal prep recipes. As you know, I’m what I call ‘a plant-based meat eater’, so I’ve add chicken breast to this salad for my own prepped lunches this week, which you’ll see in a couple of the photos. I’ve listed alternatives in the ‘Ingredients’ section too so feel free to customise this salad to your own preference! Now let’s get cooking!
Recipe (Serves 5-6)
For the Quinoa Salad
- 1/4 tsp ground mild chili powder
- 1/2 tsp ground smoky paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 250g Quinoa, uncooked
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 400g tin of Red Kidney Beans
- 1 small tin of sweetcorn
- 8-10 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 red onion, chopped
- PROTEIN: I added cooked chicken breast to this salad for the extra protein and satiety, but you could use turkey breast or if vegetarian/vegan, add tofu or an extra tin of beans!
For the Avocado Dressing
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 3 tbsp water +/- a little extra
- A pinch of sea salt & ground black pepper
The Quinoa Salad
- Rinse and cook the quinoa according to packages intructions, drain when finished and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
- Prepare your veggies by dicing up and leaving aside.
- Add your spices to the quinoa, and stir using a large spoon until coated and coloured.
- Tip the veggies (red onion, tomatoes, peppers) into the bowl of quinoa, and stir it all up again!
- Rinse and drain the tinned beans, and heat in a little water in a small bowl for 1 minute. Rinse again, and add to the salad bowl.
- Drain the sweetcorn and add to the mix.
- The PROTEIN part – if you’re adding chicken/turkey pieces, now’s the time!
- Lastly, toss everything once more, and if you’re happy it’s looking good, set aside the bowl while you make your dressing.
The Avocado Dressing
- Scoop the avocado flesh into a blender cup.
- Add the rest of the ingredients – melted coconut oil, spices, tahini, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and water.
- Blend until creamy! Add a little bit more water if its a bit too thick!
- Pour the dressing on top of your quinoa salad, and stir it in so it coats all the ingredients.
- Squeeze a little bit of the lemon juice over the dressed salad (keeps the avocado from browning!)
And you are FINISHED! Your Creamy Mexican Quinoa Salad ready to drool over, take photos of, and most importantly – EAT! Tag me if you try this one out guys – @theirishbalance on Instagram!
Ciara 🙂 x