Easy Southwest Quinoa Bowls – Real Food Whole Life

Easy Southwest Quinoa Bowls

Image of Easy Southwest Quinoa Bowls

Simple, fresh ingredients combine in these Easy Southwest Quinoa Bowls, perfect for a light dinner or lunch on-the-go.

Quinoa salad is just one of those recipes everyone should have in their cooking arsenal. It’s easy to make, is lovely served warm or at room temperature, and can be packed to take for lunch anywhere. It’s perfect as a side to grilled or baked meat or fish, and also works on its own as a filling main dish. 

These Easy Southwest Quinoa Bowls start with a base of fluffy warm quinoa, then come alive with the addition of bright summer veggies, protein-rich black beans, a tangy honey-lime dressing, and crunchy pumpkin seeds. The recipe is very adaptable, so feel free to let your imagination and preferences guide you when it comes to the vegetable combination. Use what’s fresh, what you like, and what you have! 

These bowls are naturally gluten-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free, and vegan. If you like feta and you’re not dairy-free, it would be a nice topping for these bowls. Diced avocado would also be a tasty addition, though neither is necessary as these bowls are full of flavor as is. Sunflower seeds will also work in place of the pumpkin seeds.

Kid-friendly notes. The vibrant colors and mild flavors of these bowls will appeal to some kids, but here are some options for resistant eaters:

  • Before adding the dressing to the quinoa set some aside. Drizzle with olive oil or add a bit of butter and a pinch of salt. This preparation may appeal to the kids who prefer noodles with butter, and is more nutritious (it’s also messier, but we’ll just ignore that part).
  • Serve all the veggies separately on the plate, or serve them family-style in small bowls at the table. Let the child serve himself the veggies, then toss them in the bowl. Again, messier, but surprisingly effective. 
  • Let her use the pumpkin seeds as “sprinkles” to top off her bowl masterpiece.

Print

Image of Easy Southwest Quinoa Bowls

Easy Southwest Quinoa Bowls


  • Yield:
    4 as a main dish; 6 as a side dish 1x


Description

Simple, fresh ingredients combine in these Easy Southwest Quinoa Bowls, perfect for a light dinner or lunch on-the-go.



Scale

Ingredients

1½ cup quinoa

2 ¾ cups chicken stock or water

1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

¼ red cabbage, thinly sliced

1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 orange, red, or yellow bell pepper, chopped

2 ears corn, kernels cut off or 1 cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted

⅓ cup toasted pumpkin seeds

¼ cup chopped cilantro

For the Dressing

¼ cup lime juice (from about 23 limes)

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon mild chili powder

¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional)

2 teaspoons honey

½ cup olive oil


Instructions

  1. Place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse well. Place the rinsed quinoa in a pot with a tight-fitting lid along with the chicken stock. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and let stand for an additional 5 minutes.
  2. While the quinoa cooks make the dressing by whisking the lime juice, salt, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, and honey until well combined. Drizzle in the olive oil and whisk again until well combined.
  3. In a large bowl add the warm quinoa and pour over the dressing. Add the black beans, cabbage, tomatoes, bell pepper, and corn. Stir to combine, then top with pumpkin seeds and cilantro. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

The vibrant colors and mild flavors of these bowls will appeal to some kids, but here are some options for resistant eaters:

  • Before adding the dressing to the quinoa set some aside. Drizzle with olive oil or add a bit of butter and a pinch of salt. This preparation may appeal to the kids who prefer noodles with butter, and is more nutritious (it’s also messier, but we’ll just ignore that part).
  • Serve all the veggies separately on the plate, or serve them family-style in small bowls at the table. Let the child serve himself the veggies, then toss them in the bowl. Again, messier, but surprisingly effective.
  • Let her use the pumpkin seeds as “sprinkles” to top off her bowl masterpiece

 

11 comments to " Easy Southwest Quinoa Bowls "

  • misty

    Beautiful blog!!! just gorgeous! I am looking for an easy printable button for these recipes? Am I missing it?

    • Robyn Downs

      Hi Misty,
      No, you’re not missing anything. I publish this blog using Squarespace and there isn’t currently an option to display a printable version of a recipe. I am working on a workaround, so stay tuned!

  • Misty

    JUst made this dish this evening! what a yummy meal!! Thank you for this one! Going on the family favorites list!

  • Jenni .Gerstle

    I copied the recipe into a Word Document and printed from there. I hope that this is OK. I need a print out to follow and remind me of the recipe as I have so many and the computer is not always available. Making this tomorrow night!!

  • allison

    If you add the dressing, can you still save some portions for leftovers or do you recommend adding dressing in only when you are ready to eat it?

    • Robyn Downs

      You can add all the dressing, but the quinoa will absorb it and the leftovers may night be quite as tasty. I usually hold some of the dressing to the side and then dress the leftovers for maximum flavor. Hope you enjoy!

  • Carol

    Do I cook the corn on the cob first?

    • Robyn Downs

      Totally up to you, Carol. Some sweet corn is delicious raw, so it’s really a taste and preference call–either cooked or raw will work.

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