Quinoa Guacamole Bowl

I *may* have an obsession with avocados. I buy 2-3 every time I go grocery shopping, even when I have no specific plan for them, even when they cost a small fortune (in New Zealand, where I currently live, avocados cost as much as $4 for just ONE in the winter).

So I try to be mindful to use them up when they ripen. One of my favorite recipes for using avocados is The Barefoot Contessa’s Guacamole Salad and I make it often, with some small tweaks.

But I wanted to take this favorite side dish and up the ante a bit by making it into a meal. And what better way to make it a meal than by adding quinoa to it?

I’ve loved quinoa ever since a friend’s mom introduced me to it eons ago (before it was popular) and still love it, even though it’s no longer the most popular “superfood” in town. While I don’t buy the “superfood” premise, I do love the high protein content, the yummy nutty flavour and texture that quinoa has and I like to incorporate it where I can.

But I digress…here is the recipe!

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Ingredients

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed

1 cup vegetable or chicken stock

1 can of kidney beans

1 can of sweet corn

2 tomatoes, medium diced

1 pepper, medium diced (any colour, but I find orange makes the salad look prettiest)

2-3 tbsp small diced fresh or pickled jalapeno pepper

1 bunch coriander/cilantro, chopped (optional – I adore cilantro but I know that not everyone does – still a yummy meal even if you opt to not use it).

1/4 cup olive oil

Zest of one lime

Juice of 1-2 limes

Cayenne pepper sauce to taste (I like to use Frank’s Red Hot – and usually put 3+ Tbsp of it, but we like it pretty spicy! 1 – 2 Tbsp is enough for most people who like just a little kick)

2 Haas avocados, large diced

Salt & pepper to taste

 

Directions

  1. Combine quinoa and stock in a small pot, cover and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.
  2. While quinoa is cooking, combine beans, corn, tomatoes and peppers in a medium bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl (or glass jar), combine olive oil, lime zest, lime juice and cayenne pepper sauce.
  4. Once quinoa is ready, add to the veggies and toss with the dressing. Fold in avocado and add salt and pepper.

Makes about 2-3 dinner sized servings.

This dish is yummy served while quinoa is warm but is also excellent chilled. I’ll often double the recipe just to make sure I have left-overs for lunch the next day.

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