Alternate post title: The greenest dressing in all the land.
Alternate post title #2: That time my pretty quinoa salad got slimed, Nickelodeon style.
You out there, 90s kids?
Before we get too off topic, please don’t dismiss this dressing because it’s so very, very green. This dressing is based off of a dip I’ve had at a Mexican restaurant near my house. A dip into which I plunge crispy and creamy deep fried avocado egg rolls, which happen to be the key to my heart, but that’s a different story for a different day.
The combination of lime + honey + cilantro makes this vinaigrette tart but sweet but herby, and the perfect complement to a fajita-style quinoa bowl made with black beans, sweet bell peppers, red onion slices, and avocado. If you want the salad to be vegan, use agave in place of honey. If you’re not concerned with keeping it vegan, you should definitely consider crumbling a bit of feta on top. Yes.
I’ve eaten this salad cold and warm, and after much consideration I’ve decided that I prefer it chilled. That could be because the Minnesota humidity has started to kick up over the past week, and someone keeps turning the AC off when I’m not looking. Tricky.
Whether eating cold or warm, I highly recommend you eat this quinoa with a handful of tortilla chips. I’ve had some serious feelings for tortilla chips lately, meaning they’ve made their way into most of my eating situations. While some may argue that they’re out of place on the side of my pizza, or as an “appetizer” before my morning oatmeal (yikes), they’re totally appropriate here, so crush, crunch, and scoop to your liking.
See? Thoroughly, deliciously slimed.
- 2 teaspoons non-gmo canola oil
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- 1 cup quinoa
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- ¼ red onion, cut into thin slices
- ½ red bell pepper, cut into thin slices
- ½ yellow bell pepper, cut into thin slices
- Cilantro, for garnish
- Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette, recipe follows
- Optional toppings: sliced avocado, feta (if not vegan), crushed tortilla chips
- ½ cup cilantro
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon honey (or agave, for vegan option)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 lime, juiced (about 1½ tbsp) and zested
- 2 tablespoons non-gmo canola oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
- Heat 2 tsp of canola oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped red onion and cook until starting to soften, 2-3 minutes. Pour in the dry quinoa and toast, stirring frequently, for 3-5 minutes. Add 2 cups water and salt, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Set aside.
- Toss together the cooked quinoa with the black beans, thinly-sliced red onion, red bell pepper, and yellow bell peppers in a bowl.
- To make the vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Taste and adjust salt to your liking.
- Pour the vinaigrette over the quinoa and toss well. Serve with corn tortilla chips, sliced avocado, and feta (if not vegan). Can be eaten hot or cold.