Mexican Quinoa

by Shawnda on April 25, 2012

in Cinco de Mayo,Holiday Favorites,Lighter & Healthier,Mexican & TexMex,Pasta, Rice, and Grains,Sides

Mexican Quinoa

We are great big fans of Mexican food. It’s a shame that traditional Tex-Mex is not very figure friendly. Things are fried in lard and served wrapped in other things that were fried in lard. But it’s delicious :)

In an attempt to lighten up Mexican night at home, I usually target the sides. Because trying to healthify queso is just… wrong :) Pinto beans take a whirl in the food processor for homemade refried beans. And we swap the rice side dish for quinoa.

Quinoa is a grain that we’ve incorporated more and more into our menus over the last year. It’s higher in protein and fiber than rice and makes a healthier alternative – and it tastes a lot like brown rice.

On Mexican night, we mix a generous batch of pico de gallo and lime juice into cooked (and cooled) quinoa. It can be served warm but it really shines as a cold dish. The flavors are fresher and brighter and the veggies offer a cold, crisp contrast to the quinoa – it’s the perfect summer side dish when TexMex is on the menu.

Mexican Quinoa

Tomatoes, lime, red onion and quinoa make a fresher, lighter side dish for taco night.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups quinoa, uncooked
  • 4 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 4 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano, seeded and diced
  • Juice of 1-2 limes (to taste)
  • Small handful of cilantro, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook quinoa in chicken broth, according to package directions.
  2. Place quinoa in a shallow dish and spread out, covering with damp paper towels and refrigerate until cold, about an hour. (This step is optional, but recommended)
  3. Toss cold quinoa with the juice of 1 lime, onion, tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro. Salt and pepper to taste and add additional lime juice if desired.
  4. Serve cold and store leftovers in an airtight bowl.

Notes

Yields: 8 generous side servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 2 hours

Nutritional Information
Calories: 195.0 | Fat: 3.5g | Fiber 11.7g | Protein 8.1g | Carbs 31.7
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 4

FacebookTwitterTumblrShare

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katrina April 25, 2012 at 5:02 am

This sounds so yummy! Love it!

Reply

2 Liz @ Blog is the New Black April 25, 2012 at 5:46 am

Love love love quinoa!

Reply

3 Courtney McElhaney April 25, 2012 at 7:36 am

Are you able to find quinoa at HEB? I live in the same part of Texas as you (promise I’m not a creeper!) and was wondering where you buy it. Thanks! Courtney

Reply

4 foodiebride April 25, 2012 at 9:26 am

Yep – heb carries it!

Reply

5 Courtney McElhaney April 25, 2012 at 9:44 am

Awesome, thank you!!!

Reply

6 KCatGU April 25, 2012 at 1:47 pm

This is more about the pinto recipe, but just thought I would throw this idea out there. I toss my drained hot pinto’s in the kitchen aid and beat them. They give this awesome creaminess. When I put them in the Cuisinart I just find they end up a little too smooth. I love Mexican food (being in Phoenix it abounds) thanks for sharing some healthier takes, just in time for Cinco de Mayo :)

Reply

7 foodiebride April 25, 2012 at 2:22 pm

Interesting! I’ll have to try that next time! I usually process the heck out of ~2/3 of the beans and then pulse in the last 1/3 so that there’s a nice variety of texture.

Reply

8 Rachel April 26, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Do either of you add anything to your beans for taste? I’ve tried making refried beans a few times, but the flavor seems off. I won’t use lard, and have actually tried adding bacon grease to it. Nothing seems to work and I was wondering if you have tips to share for awesome homemade beans. Thanks!

Reply

9 Joanne April 25, 2012 at 6:34 pm

I’ve been craving tex-mex nonstop lately but I can NEVER figure out sides! Shawnda to the rescue, obviously! And no, healthy queso is just wrong. Seriously…what’s the point?

Reply

10 Suzanne Perazzini April 25, 2012 at 10:52 pm

I love these kinds of dishes but usually substitute couscous for the quinoa.

Reply

11 Jessica April 25, 2012 at 11:00 pm

I just bookmarked and pinned this one! As soon as I send in my manuscript (on Friday!!) it is back to HEALTHY meals again. …and now I know what is first on the list! Looks amazing!

Reply

12 wakanetwork April 26, 2012 at 1:45 am

Your food presentation are beautiful. Great job!

Reply

13 Cathy @ Savory Notes April 26, 2012 at 2:16 am

This sounds so delicious! I love the idea of a cold quinoa salad; I can’t wait to try out your recipe :)

Reply

14 CAITLIN MACK May 5, 2012 at 5:09 pm

I made this last night and it exceeded my expectations!

Reply

15 Ann P. May 6, 2012 at 5:32 pm

You’re right, the contrast of flavors in this one sound amaaaazing! can’t wait to whip this one up as a healthier alternative to the traditional cheese-laden, sour cream-drenched, lard-fried stuff :)

Reply

16 Mollie May 31, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Just made this for lunch…so delicious! Satisfied the chips & salsa craving, but much healthier! :) Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: