This Southwest Quinoa Salad with Lime Honey Vinaigrette is packed with robust flavors that come together perfectly to create a satisfying, healthy, and delicious meal. It’s made with quinoa, black beans, roasted vegetables, arugula, and sunflower seeds.
Now that school is back in session, that means that my schedule is turned upside down. No more early-morning runs 🙁 Since sunrise is now later, there isn’t enough time between the sun rising and when I need to help get the kids ready for school. Now my runs take place mid morning when everyone is out of the house.
My new schedule, which revolves around pick up times and activities, also means very little time for me to prepare a healthy, nutritious lunch on the fly. Now I have to plan, and this Southwest Quinoa Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette fits the bill perfectly.
It’s starts with a base of protein and fiber rich quinoa, and it’s mixed with black beans, roasted corn, roasted bell peppers, arugula, and sunflower seeds.
I realize that arugula isn’t exactly what you’d think of when delving into southwest flavors, but I wanted something sharp and peppery on the salad. I also wanted to stay away from raw onion this time around because sometimes it can be over-powering.
As for the sunflower seeds, I added them for crunch. Since my daughter wanted to take some of the Quinoa Southwest Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette for lunch (and she attends a nut-free school) sunflower seeds were the perfect option.
The Honey Lime Vinaigrette for this Southwest Quinoa Salad is, in my book, pretty close to perfection. It’s the perfect balance of sweet, tart, with a little bit of spice, and the best part, is that it’s so easy to make. The most difficult part of the recipe is juicing the fresh limes. Let me just warn you, you’ll find yourself putting the dressing on everything. I use it in green salads, mixed in with beans, boiled corn, brushed over grilled vegetables. I could go on, but I think you get the picture, and if you don’t, then just try it. It’s delicious!
- For the Salad:
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa
- water or vegetable broth
- 1 large red, bell pepper
- 2 ears of corn, husks removed
- 1 bunch of arugula
- 1 can (14 ounces) black beans, unsalted
- 1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds
- For the Honey Lime Vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (the juice of about 4 small limes)
- 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp honey, warmed
- salt to taste
- Thoroughly rinse the quinoa in a mesh strainer
- Bring 3 cups of water or vegetable broth to a boil
- Add the quinoa and bring to rolling boil
- Turn the burner down to the lowest setting, cover and cook for about 15 minutes
- Remove the pot from the burner, and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes, undisturbed (do NOT open the lid)
- Remove the lid, fluff the quinoa
- Place it in a shallow, wide dish to cool
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
- Place the whole pepper on a baking sheet
- Roast the pepper for about 20 minutes, turning once
- Remove the pepper from the oven and place it in a bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap or in a paper bag sealed shut.
- After about 10 to 15 minutes, remove the pepper. The skin should come off easily
- Skin the pepper and remove the seeds. (Do NOT run the pepper under water to remove the seeds. You will wash away some of the roasted flavor)
- Slice the pepper into bite-sized pieces
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
- Wrap each ear of corn in foil
- Place directly on the rack of the oven
- Roast for about 15 minutes.
- Remove the foil covering.
- Slice the corn kernels off the ear of corn
- Reserve the corn kernels
- Whisk together all of the ingredients together and set aside
- Rinse and drain the black beans
- Place the cooled quinoa in a large bowl
- Add the roasted vegetables, black beans, arugula, and sunflower seeds
- Add the vinaigrette
- Toss until combined
- Season with salt
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