Tonight I’m cooking for 50 people. It’s a dinner party to kick off a Spring Cleanse lead by Dr. Jeff Ulery and Neissa Springmann of iGnite. When these creative geniuses behind the event asked if I’d help cook for the fete I jumped on the bandwagon. We’ve had a great time coming up with a healthy menu to kick off the twenty-one day cleanse. In addition to Lemon-Dill Baked Salmon and Pork Tenderloin with Raspberry Salsa provided by our lovely hostess, we will be serving a variety of side dishes that are easy to prepare and pack a nutritional punch.
Joining us for the Spring Cleanse? Subscribe (click the button in the top right corner of this page) to The Schell Cafe for recipes to help you continue on your health journey. Even if you aren’t part of the Spring Cleanse, you’ll want to hang around for the tips and resources coming up! We can all use easy, healthy meal options, right?
We’ll kick the Spring Cleanse off with a tasty Mexican Quinoa Salad. The flavors will satisfy your Tex-Mex cravings, and you’ll be filled with all the nutritional wonders found in the quinoa. I’ve written about the benefits of the super seed before, and for the last couple of years quinoa has been a staple in our home. Even the Littles love it! Especially when it appears as the star in their favorite brownies!
2 cups quinoa, rinsed
4 cups liquid (I use 2 cups broth, vegetable or chicken, + 2 cups water)
1 white onion, chopped
2 large carrots, diced
1 tsp cumin
2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 1/2 cups sweet corn
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro chopped
3 Tbs walnut oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
4 Tbs lime juice (1 large lime)
3 Tbs water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBS cumin
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp coarse sea salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
Rinse seeds in a mesh sieve with plenty of water. Quinoa is coated with a natural substance that can taste bitter if not properly rinsed.
In a large pan with a fitted lid, saute olive oil and onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add chopped carrots and saute until softened, about 3 minutes. Add quinoa and stir in cumin to cover seeds. Add water/broth to pot and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes until all water is absorbed. Fluff quinoa with a fork and remove from heat to cool.
While quinoa is cooling, prepare the dressing. In a small jar with a lid combine oil, lime juice, water, garlic, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Shake vigorously to combine.
When quinoa is cooled, place in large mixing bowl. Add tomatoes, corn, beans, onions and stir completely to combine. Fold in cilantro and toss with about 1/2 of the dressing. Use more or less to taste.
Serve salad room temperature or cold. This salad will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator which is a good thing as this recipe makes a lot! The quinoa will absorb the dressing quickly, add more from the reserved jar (to taste) as you continue to enjoy your quinoa salad for lunch, snacks, or dinner the rest of the week.