Oh summer in the north!
I don’t know about you, but as soon as summer hits, it feels like all my weekends and evenings become jam-packed with plans. Plans to bike, hike, and go on adventures somewhere new.
The longer days of summer mean more daylight hours to be doing activities and this definitely reduces the time to prepare dinners and lunches. When life gets busy, bulk meal prep is a must! Not only does meal prep at home save you money, it also encourages greater fruit and vegetable consumption and a higher intake of fibre.
One of my favorite “go-to” meals for summer is a Mexican Quinoa Salad. Anyone who knows me will tell you: I love Mexican spices. Actually, I’m almost obsessed with Mexican spices. I have a standard blend of chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, and smoked paprika that I throw into the majority of my meal repertoire. If you’re used to buying taco or fajita seasoning, I am here to tell you that this is no longer needed! You can make your own Mexican spice mix with common spices found right in your own spice cupboard. Check out this taco seasoning recipe.
Ready to get those Mexican spices into a meal that lasts? The salad recipe below will make about 8-10 servings, so feel free to decrease it as needed. It makes a great potluck item, can definitely feed you and your friends for a few meals, is convenient to pack, and will keep well for about three days, refrigerated.
Mexican Quinoa Salad
- 2 cups quinoa (uncooked)
- ½ red pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow pepper, chopped
- 1 cucumber, chopped
- 3 large tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 avocados, diced
- ½ large red onion, or 1 small, diced
- 2 x 540 ml cans black beans
- 1 x 341 ml can corn
- 1 cup shredded old cheddar cheese
- 3 limes, juice and zest OR 1/3 cup lime juice
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp chili powder (domestic, not international chili powder), or to taste
- ½ tbsp cumin
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- Combine 2 cups quinoa and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Set aside and/or refrigerate and allow to cool.
- Combine all salad ingredients together in an extra-large bowl.
- Combine all dressing ingredients in jar or blender, as desired. Pour over salad ingredients and mix well.
About Lindsay Kraitberg
Lindsay is a registered dietitian working regionally with the CBORD (a food and nutrition database used in food services) team as well as in complex care. Originally from Vancouver Island, she grew up in the small town of Duncan then lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia for four years before relocating to the north. Lindsay thoroughly enjoys her position with Northern Health as she works with many different health care teams and learns something new every day. When Lindsay isn't at work, you can find her snowboarding in the winter and hiking, biking or camping in the warmer weather.