Southwestern Quinoa

Taking a break from all the vacation stories, I thought I would share a recipe I altered last week. With all the fresh produce around from the farmer’s market and the warm weather, I wanted a meal that was heavy on the veggies, but light in feel. This fit the bill perfectly.


Southwestern Quinoa

Adapted from Serious Eats and Making it with Meleyna

Makes maybe 8 entreé servings


zest of a lime

juice of a lime

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon oregano (Mexican preferred, not Mexican is fine)

1/4 teaspoon chipotle pepper, ground

1/2 teaspoon (or more) ground cumin

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper to taste


Not Dressing:

1 cup quinoa, rinsed or pre-washed

1 teaspoon veggie bouillon base

1 ripe avocado, cut into bite size pieces

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic

3 small summer squash or zucchini, in bite size pieces

~15 oz. corn (canned, frozen, or 2 cobs fresh)

1 block extra-firm tofu

Cilantro to taste

Chipotle to taste

Cumin to taste

Salt to taste

~15 oz. black beans, drained and rinsed

1 handful chopped cilantro

4 scallions, chopped (white and green parts)

Grape tomatoes (if you like tomatoes)



1. Mix together all the ingredients for the dressing in a large bowl.

2. Drain the tofu. Set between paper towels and heavy things to get moisture out.

3. Cook the quinoa. Directions vary. I followed the directions on the Making it with Meleyna website, with slight variation. Add the quinoa to a pot of boiling salt water with the bouillon base. Cook for ten minutes then strain in a fine sieve. Add an inch of water back to the pot and place the sieve over the water. Put the quinoa in the sieve, cover it with a kitchen towel, put a lid over it all, and bring the water to a boil. Steam the quinoa for about 10 minutes. Then remove it from the heat, but leave it in the pot with the lid and towel on for five more minutes. After this, fluff it with a fork.

4. Add the avocado to the dressing. Cut the avocado into pieces and put it in the dressing, this will mean the avocado doesn’t brown nearly as easily.

5. Fry things. Add the oil to a large frying pan and fry the onion and garlic until soft. Add it to the dressing. Add more oil if needed and fry the summer squash and corn (if wanted). Add it to the dressing.

6. Season and fry tofu. Because tofu is bland, add spices to it. I used the spices from the dressing, but you could add other things too. Then fry it until it is to your liking. Set asside.

7. Add the black beans to the dressing mixture and stir. Add the quinoa to the dressing mixture, fluff gently with a fork. Add the cilantro and raw scallions and grape tomatoes and continue to fluff. Then add the tofu (because it is fragile and will break).

8. Eat it.

Info: The first time we made this we left out the tofu and beans, but it was severely lacking in protein, so this version remedies that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *