Monday, September 5, 2011

Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Black Beans and Chipotle Lime Dressing

Have you ever had one of those days where it all starts out so wonderful, everything is going just perfectly and then it feels like someone rips the rug out from under you?  You know the feeling... waking up to a tasty breakfast followed by a nice brisk walk in the fresh early morning air, playing tug a war with your favorite rope after chasing your ball and then it happens.  They take your collar off.  Usually that means one thing... a bath.

First you are put in the empty bath tub along with your brother and high hopes that they just put you there to contain you so you won't chase the cat  (you know she is 19, nearly blind and can't see where she's going, but it's darn fun to chase her anyway...).  A paper cup is all the entertainment you need for a few minutes as she reaches for those bottles of something.  And then it happens.  Water.  Lots of water.  Thankfully the water is warm, and actually after a while it's really not so bad.  You really do start to feel better without all the dust and grime that has accumulated over the last couple of weeks and now you actually smell pretty darn good.  But then... Lather, rinse, repeat.

Lather, rinse, repeat...

What to do after a bath?  What better than tear around the back yard, rolling on the ground and chasing your brother until you are truly out of breath and panting, you then collapse under a lounge chair for a quick rest while she is doing something in the kitchen - like she always is.  Hopefully it's chicken.

After a nice brush out your hair is gleaming, but your eyes begin to droop.  Thankfully it was chicken along with some other salad thing that she was putting together (but that was for the people) and now with a full tummy you begin looking for a place to lay your head.  Thankfully there are usually a pair of arms somewhere or a nice lap to crawl onto.  After all, it's been a tough day.

Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Black Beans and Chipotle Lime Dressing
Adapted from The Perfect Pantry
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This is one of those wonderfully forgiving recipes that becomes a different yet similar version every time you make it based on the ingredients you have on hand.  Don't like some of the listed veggies?  Substitute your favorites.  We have also substituted Cannellini Beans in place of the Black Beans.  Not quite as pretty, but still tastes wonderful.
Note:  Remember to rinse your quinoa - Quinoa has a natural coating called saponin that repels insects and birds and can create a bitter taste. Rinsing with warm water removes the saponin.

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups water
2-3 Tbs Grapeseed oil
2-3 Tbs fresh squeezed lime juice
1 Tbsp honey (or Agave Nectar)
1-2 chipotle chiles in adobo
1 Tbsp plain yogurt
1/4 tsp kosher salt, adjust to taste
1 avocado, diced
1 Persian cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup chopped red onion or scallion
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
Chopped fresh tomato, as much as desired
1/3 cup chopped jicama
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
cilantro leaves, for garnish

Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh sieve.  Place 2 cups of water in a medium pot on the stove (or alternatively see Lydia's post for directions to cook your quinoa with a rice cooker).  Bring to a simmer, add the quinoa and cook, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked.

While the quinoa is cooking, mix together the oil, lime juice, honey (or agave nectar), 1 chipotle chile, yogurt and salt in a blender.  Process until smooth. Taste, add additional chipotle if more heat is desired. Set aside.

When the quinoa is tender, remove the lid and let cool slightly.  Add the quinoa to a mixing bowl, and fluff with a fork. Gently mix in the chopped avocado, cucumber, onion, black beans, jicama and tomato, and stir in almost all of the dressing (you might need it all, but maybe not, so start slowly). Add the chopped cilantro and stir to combine.  Taste, and adjust salt if needed.

Serve.  Refrigerate left overs, this salad is best within 24 hours of preparation.

Note:  Grilled corn is also a nice addition to this salad.


  1. Kim - your Quinoa salad looks light, delicious and tasty. Love, love the dressing. Your little doggies are SOOOOOO adorable!

  2. Thanks so much for trying my recipe! I love when people adapt my recipes and make them into something equally wonderful. I'm not a huge fan of cilantro (okay, I really detest it), but it's a perfect fit here.

  3. Kim.
    this is a great salad that is so healthy with the avocado, quinoa, and black beans. Great adaption. Can't wait to try it!

    Your little poochies are so cute! We give Bailey a shower. I put my swimming suit on, Bailey get in the shower and she loves it. Not so much fun, when she get out though. We have to dry her her fur with the hair dryer.

  4. Heavens, I think I'd eat chocolate if it was covered in chipotles in adobo. Even though I can't take a lot of heat, I adore that flavor. The salad looks delicious. I also didn't know about rinsing the quinoa, so thanks for the tip.

    I made Hubby come in and look at the pups on my computer, especially the "after" shot. There's nothing quite as adorable as a wet dog, especially that, "what did I do so wrong to deserve this?" look. :)

  5. Very nice. Will your kids take this to school for lunch?

  6. Your dogs are precious! I love this chipotle lime dressing - I think I would put it on everything. Great recipe!

  7. This looks delicious! Loved the chipotle-lime dressing too.

  8. Awww, so cute!! Those pups look like my Maltese! :)

  9. Wilson barely tolerates his baths too.

    I've been cooking with quinoa a lot. Definitely need to do a post on it too. Your salad sounds terrific, especially like the sound of the dressing.

  10. Aw what a sweetie, all tuckered out from his bath.

    This salad is amazing Kim! I would devour this in like 4.2 seconds. Has a TON of my favorite things in it. Gorgeous

  11. Precious pups! And a lovely salad as your combo of flavors. Need to make this one as we're trying to incorporate more whole grains into our diet.

  12. Awww your puppies looks so cute..and your meal is fantastic, what a great recipe Kim..really lovely, light and perfect for this time of year!

  13. Love the quinoa, but your little babies...they take my breath away. It is almost a year now since we lost our Bichon Frise and still miss her daily. I am guessing these are Maltese...hug them for me. Susan

  14. I am so obsessed with quinoa so I really love this recipe!! And your doggies are SO SO cute!!!

  15. Kim you have as great a way with words as you have with cooking, baking
    and salads! Your turn to make me smile this time! I must send this post to one of our daughters who always has a problem with her dog's bath. He absolutely hates it! AND he lets her know that also :-)!
    Cheers, Doug up I 5 and across the water

  16. Nice life of a dog, eh??? Yummy quinoa recipe too, I've bookmarked!

  17. Oh, look at your sweet pups!! Even cuter when wet! This looks like my kind of salad...I love absolutely every bit of it~

  18. Your Quinoa salad looks so good, and for sure healthy, and delicious.
    Your puppies are oh, sooooo cute, and adorable. Love the post, and the photos!
    I also have a cat who is nearly 19yrs old, still active, just slower now!

  19. OMG your dogs are SOOOOOOO cute. So cute. Great photos. I have some Quino I just fluffy up and I was looking for what to add to it this time. I think I will try this one! :)

  20. My kitties rebel the few times I have had to wash them. Love the mix of this salad, with honey, chiles, and the rest of the deliciousness. So good.

  21. cute!!! I didn't have any pet besides fish and turtle etc growing up in Japan (after all our space is so small), and it's my dream to have a cute dog like them after my kids get a little older so that the dog won't be my 3rd kid. I want one just like them! The quinoa salad looks delicious! How have you been? Sorry I've been MIA lately - really busy with kids...

  22. Seriously, those little dudes get me every time! Im all "hmm how to describe how pretty this dish PUPPIES! Cute fluffy puppies!" Adorbs!

  23. Gorgeous salad Kim! I love the health-building qualities of the ingredients you use. The beans are the perfect protein complement. Hearty and delicious. And, it's about the doggies... OH cuuuute!!


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