Holistic Care You Can Afford

Fiesta Quinoa Salad

Fiesta Quinoa Salad

I’m often invited to graduation gatherings or backyard parties at this time of year. Because I’m vegan, the host will often ask what they can prepare that I will eat. I realize this can be a struggle especially for those who are not accustomed to cooking for someone who doesn’t eat animal products. So, I thought I’d post this recipe of one of my favorite meals at this time of year.

Keep it handy for the next time you need to prepare something for a vegan guest. Or if you’re vegan, offer to bring along this dish to share with others.

It’s easy to prepare and packs a well-rounded nutrient punch. I guarantee any vegan or vegetarian will be thrilled to have this offering on the menu. You might want to double the recipe because the meat eaters will probably gobble it up as well.

I call this the Fiesta Quinoa Salad because the beautiful colors and fresh ingredients remind me of a party.

This recipe makes about 4 one-cup servings.


Fiesta Quinoa Salad

1 cup uncooked quinoa (you can use any variety but I like to mix the red, black and white for more color)

1 3/4 cups water

pinch salt

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

2-3 green onions (scallions) sliced

1 small sweet pepper (whatever color you prefer)

1 small jalapeno pepper (this is optional depending on whether or not you like heat)

1 cup cooked black beans

1 ear fresh corn cut from the cob (you can use thawed frozen corn if fresh corn isn’t available)

1 ripe Haas avocado


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or Herbamare


  1. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer under warm running water. Place the rinsed quinoa in a medium pot with the water and a pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil, reduce het to low, cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.
  2. Remove cooked quinoa from pot, place in a large bowl and let cool. (I’ve even done these first two steps the day before and let the quinoa cool overnight in the fridge)
  3. Combine olive oil, lime juice, cumin and sea salt in a small bowl. Whisk together and pour half the dressing over cooled quinoa. Toss well with a fork.
  4. Add cilantro, green onions, peppers, black beans and corn and toss again.
  5. Cut the avocado into 1/2 inch cubes and garnish each serving with 4-5 cubes.

This salad can be served alone or you can place a scoop atop a bed of salad greens and other fresh veggies of your choice as pictured here. If served over a salad you can use the remaining dressing over the salad greens as needed.

Once you try it, let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Phyllis Young graduated from CUNY Lehman College in Bronx, NY in 1982 with a dual B.S. degree in Anthropology and Biology. In 1988 she earned a second B.S. in Physician Assistant Studies from The City College of New York, Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education and subsequently completed a year long internship in General and Special Surgery at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY. Over the past 26 years she has worked as a Physician Assistant in a variety of clinical settings including Cardiac Surgery, Cardiology, Internal Medicine, Family Practice, Emergency Medicine and Functional Medicine.


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