Mexican Quinoa Salad (with Beef)

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I love quinoa!  It’s so filling and there are so many things you can do with it.  As a vegetarian, you eat a lot of grains, and it is very easy to get sick of pasta and rice all the time.  Quinoa is a great way to mix things up!  Plus quinoa is a superfood – it is very high in protein, it is actually a complete protein and is high in fiber, iron, and magnesium.

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I found a recipe for a quinoa salad with cilantro and cumin, and I was less than excited with how it turned out.  So I set out on a mission to find a way to make it work.

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Solution: Homemade Taco Seasoning.  It added the perfect amount of punch without overwhelming my taste buds.  Gotta say, this seasoning has come in so handy – a little bit of it gives almost anything a nice kick in flavor.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 1/3 cups water, split
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped peppers
  • 1 Tbs cilantro
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 2  1/2 generous Tbs Homemade Taco Seasoning, split
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 4 cups salad greens
  • Vinaigrette or Italian dressing of choice

Instructions:

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Fill a pot with 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water.  Turn the heat on high until the water comes to a boil, and then turn it down, letting it simmer, until quinoa is cooked and all of the water is gone.

Meanwhile, cook 1 lb ground beef in a large pan over medium heat.  Stir and break it apart into small chunks while it cooks for about 10 minutes, or until there is no more pink.

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Cook corn according to package directions.  Dice tomato, onion, and pepper.  Mix them into the corn, along with cilantro, cumin, lemon juice, and taco seasoning.

Cook black beans according to package instructions.  Mine were leftover from another meal, so I just popped them in the microwave.

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Drain the fat out of the beef once it has fully cooked and add 1/3 cup water and 1  1/2 generous Tbs Homemade Taco Seasoning to the pan, still on medium heat.  Mix continually until the seasoning is thoroughly mixed in and the water has cooked away.

Take the bowl of vegetables and spices and mix them with the quinoa once it has cooked and there is no more water in the pot.

Serve quinoa hot on a bed of salad greens with black beans or beef.  Drizzle with an Italian of Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing.

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The quinoa can be stored for over a week in the fridge.  I had the quinoa on its own and also as a salad when I reheated it.

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Serves 4

Prep time: 20 minutes active

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