This delicious and filling entrée salad with south-of-the-border flavors is one of my favorite new dishes. It’s related to my Burrito Bowl, but calls for quinoa instead of rice, adds steamed kale, and is topped with a creamy, tangy, cilantro-lime dressing.
Above: The romaine lettuce is on the bottom, with rows of goodies on top: kale, chopped red onion, cooked quinoa, pinto beans, chopped tomatoes, and corn, with the dressing and toasted corn tortilla strips on top. The beans, corn, quinoa and/or kale can be eaten warm or cold. I like to eat this as an entrée salad, which serves two (one serving is shown above). It’s a hearty meal!
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup dry/uncooked quinoa (any color)
- 2 cups packed, coarsely chopped kale (any type)
- 1½ cups cooked black or pinto beans (or 1 15-ounce can, drained/rinsed)
- 1 cup corn kernels (cooked or raw)
- 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- ¼ cup chopped red onion
- Optional garnish: 1 oil-free corn tortilla, toasted, and sliced or chopped
- 1½ ounces raw, unsalted cashews (about ½ cup)
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves
- ¼ cup lime juice (1 to 2 limes)
- 2 green onions, chopped (white and green parts)
- 1 medium clove garlic
- Place the water and quinoa into a small pot, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, and simmer for 20 minutes with a snug-fitting lid.
- Place all of the dressing ingredients into a blender (smaller blenders work best since this is a small amount of dressing, about ½ cup) and set aside while the quinoa is cooking, or about 15 minutes (so the cashews can soften).
- Place the chopped kale into a sauce pan, and boil or steam in a small amount of water for 1 to 2 minutes on high with the lid on. Drain and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, toss together the beans, corn, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, and the cooked quinoa and kale. (The beans, corn, quinoa and/or kale can be eaten warm or cold). Divide the salad between two to four salad bowls or plates. OR place the romaine lettuce on the bottom of each bowl (a bed of lettuce), then create rows of the remaining ingredients (beans, corn, tomatoes, red onion, quinoa and kale), as shown in the top photo.
- Blend the dressing ingredients on high until very smooth, adding a little water as needed to reach a slightly thick but pour-able consistency. Serve the dressing on the side or as shown in the top photo. Garnish with sliced or chopped toasted corn tortillas if desired.
Optional additions: Sometimes I like to add thinly sliced cabbage, avocado, fresh cilantro leaves, and/or pumpkin seeds.
To toast the optional corn tortillas, use a toaster or the “broil” setting on your oven for about 5 minutes (just keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn. If they get too crispy, they can't be sliced or chopped; they just break apart).
Instead of cilantro in the dressing, you can substitute with ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh basil.
If you are sensitive to cashews or are trying to keep your calories low, you can use ¾ cup white beans (drained and rinsed) instead of the cashews (use all other ingredient amounts as listed).
Above: The same recipe, but tossed (instead of in rows); with added avocado slices and cilantro leaves (and no corn tortilla).
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