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.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with dressing.
Nutrition Per Serving (1 of 3)
- Calories: 449
- Fat: 25g
- Saturated fat: 3.9g
- Sodium: 375mg
- Carbohydrates: 51g
- Fiber: 12g
- Sugar: 11.6g
- Protein: 11g