Quinoa a la Mexicana


3/4 cup =1 starch, 1 fat


  • ½ cup white, red, or tricolor quinoa, rinsed
  • 5 Tbsp. avocado oil, divided
  • salt
  • 1 large English hothouse cucumber (about 12 oz.)
  • 2 bunches scallions, trimmed, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 2 Cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup (lightly packed) cilantro leaves
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced (about 1 Tbsp. zest and 2 Tbsp. juice)
  • 1 avocado, cut into ½” cubes

How to:

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add ½ cup quinoa, rinsed, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until quinoa is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 12–15 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.

2. Transfer quinoa to a baking sheet and toss with 2 Tbsp. avocado oil and ¼ tsp and salt. Bake, tossing halfway through, until crispy and golden brown, 20-25 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, cut cucumber in half lengthwise, and then into 1/4 inch slices.

4. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Cook scallions trimmed and 1 Tbsp. avocado oil, tossing often, until charred in spots, 5–7 minutes. Transfer scallions to a blender.

5. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook cherry tomatoes., 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper in same skillet, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are blistered, 6–8 minutes. Transfer tomatoes to bowl with cucumbers.

6. Add ¾ cup (lightly packed) cilantro leaves, juice of 1 lime,  2 Tbsp. avocado oil and  and ¼ cup water to blender with scallions. Purée until smooth. Add salt to tase.

7. Add two thirds of scallion sauce to cucumber mixture and toss to combine. Add 1 avocado, cut into ½” cubes, and gently stir to combine.

8. Transfer vegetables to a platter and sprinkle crispy quinoa over. Drizzle with remaining scallion sauce. Sprinkle zest of 1 lime (about 1 Tbsp.) over quinoa. 

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Julie Conway

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