Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Not Your Average Picnic Salad

I'm so looking forward to the long holiday weekend coming up. An extra day with the husband? Yes, please! So far the only plans we have are a date night for Khale and I. We're going (finally!) to go see The Avengers movie. Here's hoping it's as good as everyone says. 

 Usually on long holiday weekends we end up just doing lots of relaxing (which in our family, is code for "reading and napping") and quality family time. We're not a family that has to have a set schedule or specific plan - we like to be spontaneous and just let the fun happen. 

Memorial Day weekend always seems like the official kick-off to Summer picnics and barbecues.  However, I think potato salad and coleslaw have dominated the picnic side dishes for far too long. It's time to change things up. Say farewell to the heavy mayo-ladden dishes and hello to this little beauty: 

My new favorite picnic salad! 

It's quinoa, black beans, cilantro, tomato, purple onion and avocado all tossed together with a squeeze of lime juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Simple. Light. Refreshing. And sooo delicious. Which is the way picnic food should be. 

You could eat this as an entree because the beans and quinoa pack a nice amount of protein into the dish. Or just keep it on the side. 

Serve it hot, warm, or cold. It's equally yummy no matter what temperature. 

Southwestern Avocado Quinoa Salad
Serves 2-4...depending on if it's the entree or side!

1 cup quinoa 
1 large tomato
1/2 purple onion
1 avocado
1 cup cooked black beans
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 lime

Cook the quinoa according to the package directions. Meanwhile, dice the tomato and onion. Peel and chop the avocado. When the quinoa has finished cooking, scoop it into a large bowl. Add the tomato, onion, avocado, black beans, cilantro and chili powder. Drizzle in the olive oil and all the juice from the lime. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Serve immediately, after a bit or chill for a few hours before you want to eat. You can also make this a day or two ahead of time and allow the flavors to enhance each other while it chills. 

1 comment:

  1. I liked your recipe except that I'd make a few changes. First, I think I would add a little less water to the quinoa to make it a little dryer because of all the wet ingredients that are added to the recipe at the end. I would also wait for the quinoa to cool down before adding the ingredients (tomatoes, avocados, etc.). The hot quinoa made the ingredients looked like it "melted" down. Adding a little corn also sounds good.


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