Our South American inspired avocado and quinoa salad recipe borrows flavors from Bolivia, the native country of one of our favorite protein-packed grain. Combining quinoa with avocado is the perfect way to blend some creamy texture into this grainy salad, and the flavors of lemon juice, parsley, and cumin and chili powder add just the right amount of kick. This recipe is easy to pack with for a picnic, and a healthy and light side dish to serve with barbecued meats, tofu or fish.
1 1/2 cups dry quinoa (soak overnight for best texture once cooked)
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 T olive oil
1 T lemon juice
2 T white wine vinegar
1/2 t chili powder (you can also use finely chopped fresh chilis)
1/2 t ground cumin
sea salt to taste
1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 ripe avocados, sliced thin
Bring approximately 2 cups of water to a boil in a pot - rinse your quinoa while you wait for the water to heat up. Add the quinoa to the water and reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until the grains have absorbed the water and become slightly translucent. Drain and set aside in a glass bowl to cool.
To make the dressing, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, chili powder, cumin, salt and parsley in a small bowl and whisk thoroughly. Pour the dressing over the cooked quinoa and toss well. If you are packing this for a picnic, you can choose to bring the whole avocado with and slice it upon serving. Otherwise put the dressed quinoa in a serving bowl, and arrange the slices of avocado on top. Serve as a side dish with your favorite fresh salsa!
Variation: Try adding some black beans or pinto beans and turn this dish into a delicious and heart healthy main course.
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