Do you have your go-to weeknight dinners or packable lunches that you make pretty much every week or two? I do. They’re so simple to throw together that you don’t even have to look at a recipe – just throw a bunch of things into a pot or a bowl and off you go? Well, this is mine. A Mexican quinoa bowl full of protein, flavors, and veggies. What more could you want?
I love the combination of flavors and textures in this bowl. There’s a bit of spice, some crunch and tart from the peppers and greens, and the smooth addition of avocado really tops it off nicely. What I love about this bowl is it’s super quick to make, and it’s really versatile. If you don’t have one of the ingredients on hand, leave it out or add something else. Don’t have black beans? Throw in some chickpeas or tofu instead. You really can’t go wrong.
Quinoa is the base of a lot of my go-to weekday recipes. It’s full of protein, is gluten-free, and much quicker than making rice or some other grains. I like to make it cups at a time on Sundays and then it’s on hand and ready as a base for anything during th week. When I make my quinoa, I like to add a touch of Earth Balance vegan margarine and some minced onion to the water to give the quinoa a little flavor. That’s what I’ve done on this recipe, so if you’re making a batch of quinoa just for this, I definitely recommend adding it.
I like to use raw peppers and greens when I’m making this bowl to take to work for lunches. When I heat it up at the office, the greens wilt a little bit and don’t end up too mushy like they would if I was reheating them after sauteeing. Plus, the only thing to cook in this recipe is the quinoa. And if you have some on hand already, you can literally throw this bowl together in 5 minutes.
I like to use salsa for a dressing of sorts to tie everything together and add even more veggies to the meal. It’s a super simple trick to turn a bowl into a cohesive meal. You can use whatever spice level of salsa you like, I personally love a bit of heat and go for it hot, but mild will also do the trick.
Once all the ingredients are tossed together, you’re ready to eat or pack it up! I like to wait to add the avocado until I’m actually going to eat it, to keep the avocado from browning. But if that doesn’t bother you, go ahead and toss it in with everything else. This recipe makes enough for multiple servings and it holds up well refrigerated for a few days. So if you have a few minutes on a Sunday, try it out – save it for lunches during the week. Your tastebuds (and your wallet) will thank you!
Protein Packed Mexican Quinoa Bowl
What You’ll Need:
- 2 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup dry quinoa yields about 3 cups cooked)
- 2 cups baby kale
- 1 cup black beans
- 1/2 large orange pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup corn (I just used frozen and dethawed it)
- 3/4 cup salsa
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 avocado
- chili flakes for topping
What You’ll Do:
- If you don’t have cooked quinoa on hand – make the quinoa first. – Using a thin strainer, rinse 1 cup of quinoa under water. Add 1 3/4 cups water to a sauce pan, add the quinoa and 1 teaspoon vegan margarine and 1/2 teaspoon minced onion. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until the water is soaked up and the quinoa is fluffy (about 15 minutes total)
- Toss all the ingredients into a large bowl, except for the avocado and chili flakes.
- Right before serving, add the avocado and chili flakes on top and enjoy!