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!
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
- 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.
- While quinoa is cooking, combine beans, corn, tomatoes and peppers in a medium bowl.
- In a separate bowl (or glass jar), combine olive oil, lime zest, lime juice and cayenne pepper sauce.
- 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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