Easy Southwest Quinoa Bowls | Real Food Whole Life Print
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Easy Southwest Quinoa Bowls

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


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



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


  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.


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