Southwest Quinoa {recipe} – Grain-on-Grain Action

Southwest Quinoa
As progressive as we try to be, we’re still not sure how comfortable we are with straight up grain-on-grain action…

Wait, maybe we should explain.

See, when we “eat vegetarian,” we tend to eat whole grains with whole vegetables, and stick with beans, eggs and tofu for protein. We don’t normally put grains on top of or into other forms of grains like bread, tortillas, or goodness forbid, pasta. For example, we might slap a black bean burger between to halves of a burger bun (bean-on-grain), but it felt a little weird to us to make a buckwheat burger (grain) and place that on top of bread (grain).

We’re not sure why we’re like this though we think it might have something to do with traumatizing carb-on-carb experiences in the past that included mac and cheese between two slices of bread and mixing potatoes in pasta.

Yeah, we don’t know either.

Southwest Quinoa
So we intended to make this Southwest Quinoa as a filling for tacos, and we did, and it tasted awesome, but despite our knowing that 1) quinoa isn’t really a grain anyway and 2) quinoa is actually pretty proteinaceous, we felt very grain-on-grain when we put it inside tortillas.

So we stuck with eating the rest of it, like our other quinoa dishes, out of a bowl.
Southwest Quinoa

Southwest Quinoa

The amounts in this recipe are not exact because a dish like this is meant to be made with handfuls of chopped vegetables, drizzles of this, and pinches of that, all of which will be different from person to person. Adjust everything accordingly.

You can prepare all of the components ahead of time and toss together right before serving. If you think this is too much, only toss together what you will eat in one meal. Store the leftover components separately in the refrigerator, then toss together when you’re going to eat it.

makes enough for 1 or 2 or 3 or 4


2 cups cooked quinoa
1½ cups black beans, cooked (or from a can, rinsed)
1 avocado, peeled and diced
½ each red and green bell peppers, diced
1 cup cooked corn
½ to 1 whole fresh jalapeno, seeded and minced
¼ red onion, finely chopped
cherry tomatoes, very generous handful, washed and sliced in half, or quartered if they’re big
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
1 small clove garlic, very finely minced, pressed to a paste with the side of your knife, if possible
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
pinch ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

corn tortillas warmed in a 200 oven, if you’re going to make tacos


Toss quinoa, black beans, avocado, red and green bell peppers, corn, jalapeno, red onion, and tomatoes in a bowl to combine.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, and cumin.

Drizzle the olive oil + lime juice mixture over the quinoa, then gently stir everything to combine.

Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add more lime juice or cumin if needed.

If making tacos, fill tortillas with quinoa. You probably don’t need additional taco toppings because they’re all part of the quinoa. Except maybe sour cream or some shredded lettuce.

by Sarah J. Gim on May 4, 2012 · 4 comments

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

j3nn May 4, 2012 at 12:54 pm

I love the idea of combining all taco components together ahead of time instead of layering each one. This looks fantastico! :)


Holly May 4, 2012 at 7:36 pm

No need to stress, as is quinoa not technically a seed and not a grain? :)


Sarah May 7, 2012 at 12:09 pm

So colorful and tasty looking! :D


Kelly June 9, 2012 at 1:33 pm

So good! Just made it….added diced green chilis. Very yummy!


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