South Western Quinoa

Munch Munch

I came across this really interesting sounding recipe via Twitter feed by Cooking with Quinoa author Wendy Polisi (@cookingquinoa) after she started following me (@munchglutenfree) and my mouth started watering instantly! Made the recipe within a few ours of the discovery and had to substitute a few bits due to availability in Australia, the only thing I will change next time with regards to flavour is to add fresh coriander leaves, as I reckon it will really help it sing.



Serves 4

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper (orig is chili powder)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed (orig is 1 teaspoon garlic powder), I only ever use fresh garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 2 limes, juice only
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1 tsp tobasco sauce


  • 400g tin four bin mix drained and rinsed (orig is 1 cup cooked black beans, I have never been able to find these)
  • ½ punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ medium red onion, finely diced
  • 2 eschalots, finely sliced
  • 1 avocado diced
  • ¼ cup pine nuts (I toasted mine first)

Prepare your quinoa as you normally would (I microwave mine to 2 cups of water for about 15 minutes). Except instead of cooking plain, add the first set of ingredients and then after cooking allow to sit covered for an additional five minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine lime juice, olive oil, honey and tobasco sauce. Whisk until well combined.

In a large bowl combine cooked quinoa, beans, tomatoes, red onions, eschalots and avocado.

Toss with dressing and top with pine nuts.

Handy hint: Avocado tends to go brown if left out for too long, although the citrus juice should stop it from discolouring I would add the avo just before serving up. Also with these style of Quinoa salads, the earlier you make it in the day the better it tastes as the little quinoa balls are able to absorb all those amazing flavours better.

2nd Handy Hint (you lucky ducks): Pine nuts are amazing in simple green/green/garden salads. Instead of going through the effort of toasting them each time you make a salad, the first time you open the pack, toast them all at one and then store the rest in a plastic container, they really add another flavour dimension to simple salads and they’re good for you. To toast, simply pop a fry pan on a low heat (no oil or anything) and sprinkle in the nuts, gently warm them until they get a little colour and then take off the heat and allow to cool.

Feel free to comment on this post or ask any questions about the recipe!

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