Vegan Quinoa Taco Salad

This may be one of the easiest, healthiest and most delicious recipes you will ever make.

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It’s a mighty claim, I know… But if you make this, I think you’ll see what I mean.

The bulk of the dish is comprised of fresh, raw veggies, making this a healthy meal or side dish that is full of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients everybody needs more of. I make this just about every week for my family — my husband, daughter, and I all love it. J.J. is not a fan quite yet…but we’re working on him. He went a couple years eating mostly bananas and crackers, so don’t let his picky eating deter you from giving this a try!

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I am going to tell you basically how to make it, but the beauty of this recipe is that you can make it all your own! Just add tons of the veggies you love, some fresh herbs, and perhaps even some black beans and you will be all set to indulge yourself with health-ful-ness until you simply can’t eat anymore.

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Vegan Quinoa Taco Salad

  • 2 cups (dry) quinoa
  • 4 cups water
  • Lime Juice
  • Roasted Corn (optional…see below for details)
  • Cilantro and/or Parsley — I use an entire bunch of cilantro
  • Suggested Veggies: Bell Pepper, Cucumber, Zucchini, Tomato, Green Onion — for this amount of quinoa I will generally use 2-3 bell peppers, 1 medium cucumber (peeled), 1-2 medium zucchini, 10-20 oz grape tomatoes, 4-6 green onions
  • Black Beans (optional)
  • Avocado (optional)

1. **You will want to cook the quinoa at least a few hours prior or the night before you assemble the dish and eat so the quinoa has a chance to chill. ** To cook the quinoa:  Bring the four cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan or kettle. While you’re waiting on that, rinse the quinoa in a mesh strainer under cold water. When the water comes to a boil, put the quinoa in the pot and turn the heat down to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for roughly 15-20 minutes. Try not to take the lid off several times to check on it, because it needs the steam to help it cook just as rice does. When all the water is absorbed, take it off the heat, fluff with a fork and let cool enough to be put in a food storage container to chill for at least a few hours.

2. Cook your beans and corn, if using, while the quinoa is chilling.

3. Once the quinoa is cooked and chilled, put it in a large bowl. Make sure there is enough space to add a bunch of veggies and stir it around well.

4. Put a generous amount of lime juice into the quinoa and mix well. Just do this to taste…fresh lime juice is best, of course, but I admittedly use the bottled stuff for simplicity’s sake. Give me a break, I’ve got two kids! I use a good amount of lime juice because we love the flavor. Just keep in mind it will be less strong once you add in all of your veggies as well.

5. Chop your desired veggies and herbs, beans, corn, etc.

6. Put all of your veggies and such in the bowl with the quinoa, mix, top with a little avocado, and EAT!

*Roasted Corn*

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. On a large cookie sheet, lay out the contents of one bag of frozen corn (10-16 oz). Drizzle on your oil of choice (1-2 TBS). Sprinkle on a little sea salt and black pepper. Mix around with your hands to incorporate the oil, salt, and pepper evenly. Spread the corn out into a single layer. Then roast in the oven for about 10-12 minutes. You could also use steamed corn — but trust me…this is so much more delicious and adds another dimension to the dish.

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Serving Suggestions:

I love to eat the Vegan Quinoa Taco Salad just with a spoon, but it is also great wrapped up in a big leaf of romaine or other leafy green, in a tortilla, or scooped up with tortilla chips. How will you choose to eat it?

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