A Refreshing Garden Gluten-Free Quinoa Salad

quinoa salad

So it must be a good Monday morning when all three of us at the clinic show up with this salad for today’s lunch! Our goal at the clinic has been to support each other in making healthy decisions each day, increase our vegetables, decrease our sugar, and keep trying new things. I saw a version of this recipe posted on Facebook, but gave it a facelift and added more veggies, of course! Quinoa can be a nice alternative if you are trying to steer clear of gluten or just decrease your simple carbs that turn into instant sugar. Quinoa is an ancient grain that has some fiber and protein to counteract the carbs, which for some can be a much healthier option versus brown rice. When making this salad, there is much room for being creative, so see what works for you. As long as the flavors of lime, cilantro, and a little spice sound like it would hit the spot, this salad is for you!

Chile-Lime Quinoa Salad

Serving size- about 4
1 cup quinoa boiled in 2 cups of water until soft or the water is absorbed (depends on the brand and direction/washing of the quinoa)
1 cup chili-lime pistachios (if you don’t have those, I just added a large splash of lime juice and chipotle powder to taste preference)
1 cup black beans (my favorite is an organic version already in a spicy sauce…love the hot spices!)
Optional meat version: add cubed grilled chicken or turkey (we also had some smoked turkey left over from the weekend dinner and that worked great)
1/2 cup red or green peppers
1/2 cup cooked corn (optional- I left it out due to sugar content)
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
2 tbsp. onion
3 tbsp. cilantro (or more if you are in love with it)
Garnish with fresh chopped avocado and fresh chopped tomato

Chili-Lime Vinaigrette

1/3 cup lime juice       1/4 cup olive oil        1/2 tsp chipotle powder or jalapeno
salt and pepper to taste

Best part about this salad is that this time of year you can head out to your garden, pick the fresh veggies and make this salad in about 20-30 minutes. Enjoy! I know we have at the clinic~ one of our favorites!