Quinoa Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing

Every Sunday night, I plan out our food for the week. I look at our hectic schedule, determine what we have in the fridge and pantry, and cross reference with any new recipes I’ve been itching to make. We typically make one or two of our “go-to” meals in a given week, and try out a few new ones. Sometimes they find their way into our dinner roster, and other times they don’t make the cut.

There are however, certain staples that I make pretty much every week. One of those is a big batch of quinoa. It’s great to have this in the fridge. It can be eaten with eggs at breakfast time, be added to a salad, soup, burrito, or stir-fry, or act as a delicious side to pretty much any dinner. It also acts as a great backup plan for any night that we are too busy to cook and don’t want to pick something up. Throw some veggies and quinoa in a bowl with a simple dressing and Presto! You’ve got yourself a meal.

I typically wing my quinoa salads based on what I have in the house – kale, onion, carrot, peppers, cucumber, meat, nuts –  and it’s always great. This week however, I created a pretty damn good combination that I felt like I needed to share – a quinoa salad with avocado lime dressing. So here we go.

quinoa salad with avocado lime dressing

Quinoa Salad
2 cups uncooked quinoa
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup arugula, roughly chopped
1 cooked chicken breast, cubed
1 avocado, cubed
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
Salt & Pepper to
taste

Avocado Lime Dressing
1/2 ripe avocado
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp packed cilantro
Salt & Pepper to taste

Begin by making your quinoa. I know most quinoa instructions recommend using a 1:2 ration of quinoa to water, but the following process works perfectly every single time.

Thoroughly rinse the 2 cups of quinoa with cold water in a fine mesh strainer. Add the quinoa to a medium sized pot with 3.5 cups of water, and a dash of salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer for 12-15 minutes until the water is absorbed. Place a sheet of paper towel between the pot and the lid and let rest for an additional 5 minutes. This will absorb any remaining water and leave you with perfect quinoa.

Set the quinoa aside to cool. Once cooled, add in the rest of the salad ingredients, tossing to mix. In a small blender or food processor, add all of the dressing ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until it is well coated.

Enjoy for lunch, dinner, or as leftovers for up to a week. If you plan on making this for leftovers, leave the avocado out and add it when you’re ready to eat so that it is nice and fresh.

 

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