What’s For Dinner? Southwestern Quinoa Salad

Ever since I learned about Quinoa I’ve been looking for some good recipes that incorporate it. Really you can use Quinoa just about anywhere you would use rice or couscous. However, I wanted some recipes that really made it shine. This is a good one. It’s so light and refreshing. I’ve listed it as a dinner, but you could easily use it as a lunch and I also love to eat it just as a snack throughout the day! It doesn’t get much more healthy than this, so eat guilt-free to your heart’s content!

Southwestern Quinoa Salad


  • 1 cup of Quinoa
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • juice from 3 limes (about 3 Tbsp)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • a dash of cayenne pepper (or ground chipotle chili powder)
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (or 4 cloves, minced)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Grilled chicken tenders, about 2 per person (optional)

Optional Ingredients From The Garden:

  • 1-2 bell peppers (any color of your choice), diced
  • half a red onion
  • ¼ cup cilantro


  1. In small pot, combine the quinoa, water, bouillon, and salt. Bring to a simmer and then turn heat to low and allow to cook for roughly 30 minutes (or until water is absorbed). Fluff lightly with a fork and allow to cool.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the lime juice, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, vinegar, olive oil, and garlic. Whisk together.
  3. In another bowl, combine the black beans, corn, and any of the garden items you have available. (They’re optional because this is a shelf stable meal without them. But if you can get/grow them, they add a whole lot to the dish! So try not to omit them.)
  4. After the quinoa has cooled, combine it with the black bean mixture. Pour the dressing over the top and mix it in thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
  6. Optional addition: You can also add some grilled chicken to top this off beautifully. However, since quinoa is a complete protein on its own, you don’t need the chicken for protein purposes. It would only be for the sheer pleasure of your palate. 🙂 I like to add the chicken… especially if I’m serving this as the main course. 🙂 If you’re using this in a time when you’re living off your food supply, you could also just use canned chicken. Just saute it up with some grilling seasoning first. Enjoy!

One thought on “What’s For Dinner? Southwestern Quinoa Salad

  1. Jessica Nelson says:

    This is great. IT’s ironic because I’ve hardly even heard of quinoa but Adam came home TODAY and asked me to try to make some of it because of it’s nutrtional values and everything. He’s trying to bulk up and put on some weight (ahh, to be a man). Thanks


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