Anytime we return home from traveling, I crave big leafy salads and all of the green smoothies.
My body misses the 24-hour veggie stream it usually receives when I’m home and in control of my diet. So when we got back from our respective trips last week, the first thing I added to our meal plan was a big Mexican salad.
So healthy, filling, and fresh – just what we both needed.
We have a pretty standard taco salad we like to eat that includes black beans, guacamole, greens, tomato, onion, lime juice and salsa. But sometimes it’s good to switch things up.
This 30-minute salad starts with a bed of leafy greens and is topped with super foods like quinoa, black beans, and avocado. Orange segments and corn add brightness and a subtle sweetness, and a creamy orange-lime avocado dressing ties it all together.
This dressing was originally going to be a vinaigrette, but I couldn’t resist throwing the other half of my avocado in the mix for super creamy texture.
Orange juice adds a citrusy sweetness, lime juice adds a tart bite, and chili and cumin add a smoky heat that balances everything out. In other words, it’s borderline dressing perfection.
I’m seriously smitten with this salad. It’s:
Loaded with super foods, protein, + fiber
This would make the perfect weeknight meal when you’re craving something quick and healthy. Bonus? I think this would please vegans and non-vegans alike, and leftovers make a great lunch for the next day.
Although it’s delicious as is, I would highly recommend crushing up some tortilla chips and putting them on top for extra crunch. I mean, come on – live a little.
We hope you love this salad! If you give it a try, take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram or Twitter! We’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers!
Mexican Quinoa Salad with Orange Lime Dressing
- 5-6 cups mixed greens
- 1 cup cooked quinoa (red or white)
- 1/2 cup fresh or canned corn
- 1 cup cooked black beans (seasoned with equal pinches sea salt, cumin, chili, + garlic powder)
- 1/4 cup red onion (diced)
- 1 medium orange (segmented)
- 1/2 ripe avocado (chopped)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (chopped or torn)
- 1/2 ripe avocado
- 1 large lime (juiced // 1 large lime yields ~4 Tbsp)
- 3 Tbsp orange juice
- 1-2 tsp sweetener of choice (maple syrup, agave, cane sugar, etc.)
- 1-2 tsp hot sauce
- 1/4 tsp cumin powder
- 1/8 tsp chili powder (or sub extra hot sauce or chipotle powder)
- 1 healthy pinch each sea salt and black pepper
- 1 Tbsp fresh minced cilantro (optional)
- 3-4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
- Begin preparing quinoa first by thoroughly rinsing 1/2 cup quinoa in a fine mesh strainer then bringing to a boil with 1 cup water in a small saucepan (amounts as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size // use a 1:2 ratio dry quinoa to water). Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook on low for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare salad ingredients by chopping vegetables, segmenting orange, and warming black beans and seasoning with salt, cumin, chili and garlic powder.
- Prepare dressing by adding all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blending until creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. I added more hot sauce, orange juice and salt. TIP: if you prefer a vinaigrette, leave out the avocado and simply whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Either plate salad and serve with dressing on the side, or toss with dressing before serving. Pairs well with salsa, fresh lime juice and tortilla chips.
- Leftovers keep for up to a few days, though best when fresh.