Part of a healthy diet pattern to lower your blood pressure and risk of heart disease involves decreasing the amount of saturated fat you eat, mainly from animal products. While leaner cuts of meat, fish, eggs, and low-fat milk are generally good sources of protein to include in your diet, it might be a good idea to include more plant-based meals into your routine.
Eating less meat doesn’t mean giving up flavor. This southwest quinoa salad recipe is loaded with spices and plant-based protein and fiber from quinoa and black beans. It also has satiating healthy fat from creamy avocado. The result is a delicious, filling meal that will give you steady energy for hours and keep your heart healthy.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- Juice from one lime
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- 1 can (15-ounce) no salt added corn, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (15 -ounce) no salt added black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro
- 1 small avocado, diced
- In a small saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until onion is softened. Add quinoa, broth, cumin, and paprika. Stir and cover. Turn heat to low and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.
- In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, bell pepper, corn, beans, cilantro, and avocado. Gently stir to combine. Serve, or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Ingredient Variations and Substitutions
You can use any grain you like in this quinoa salad recipe. Cooking times may vary, so follow the instructions on the package if you use a different grain.
If you have precooked quinoa, cook garlic and onion as in step one, then stir into quinoa with cumin, paprika, and lime.
Cooking and Serving Tips
To prevent the avocado from browning, cut and add it right before serving, especially if the salad will be in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
For even more vegetables, add quinoa salad to a plate of salad greens with your favorite salsa.
For more protein, serve with grilled chicken or cooked ground turkey.
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