Meatless Monday: Guacamole Quinoa Salad

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I’m just going to throw this out there — I love That ’70s Show. I know it’s been off the air for an alarmingly long time now, but whenever I catch it in syndication, I get really excited and fully commit to watching it. I think what I love about it is that, in addition to being really funny, it’s also very sweet and heartfelt. This, for example, always makes me smile (and once or twice even tear up). And it even imparts some wise lessons:

Well, I do better on tests than your father, but he’s the one brave enough to kill spiders. And since we’ve been married, how many tests have I taken? None. How many spiders has your father killed? Hundreds!

I actually think about that a lot!

I don’t think I could have hacked it in the ’70s though. There seemed to be a lot of vans and Led Zeppelin and unflattering peasant tops. And unflattering tube tops. Unflattering tops all around.

Another bad thing about the ’70s — no quinoa! (Ha.) Well, I mean quinoa has been around for thousands of years, but it was pretty much unheard of in this country until about 20 years ago. And I’m definitely glad it’s here, because I love to cook with it!

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GUACAMOLE QUINOA SALAD (slightly adapted from Just a Taste)

2 cups uncooked quinoa
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tsp freshly grated lime zest
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp olive oil
2 avocados
2 tomatoes

1. Rinse quinoa in fine mesh strainer until water runs clear. Add quinoa, plus 4 cups water, to medium saucepan. Bring quinoa to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes (uncovered), or until the germ ring is visible (indicating the quinoa is cooked). Transfer quinoa to large bowl to cool.
2. Whisk together garlic, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, salt, pepper and olive oil in a small bowl. Set aside. Dice tomatoes into bite-sized pieces, removing seeds and excess liquid from tomatoes.
3. Add diced tomatoes to quinoa. Drizzle with dressing and fold to thoroughly combine.
4. Serve salad at room temperature or refrigerate and serve cold. Immediately before serving, dice avocados and gently fold into salad.

I love how light yet filling this is. I prefer it cold, but you could also serve it at room temperature.

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