a peek inside the fishbowl

14 Sep, 2011

Will they eat it? Quinoa salad with black beans, avocado, and cumin-lime dressing

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Recipes and Food

Before I begin I must ask you to direct your gaze to this picture of deliciousness:

Quinoa salad

And it was, truly, a delicious salad, at least I thought it was. Sadly, I was pretty much alone on this one. Mark stalwartly tried some, but this kind of thing is not his favourite. The girls picked at the tiny mound I’d made on their plates. I looked at them all, hangdog expression, for gawd sakes BLACK BEANS ARE GOOD. And they are, at least in in my books. Gah!

I used this recipe word-for-word. It combines so many of my favourite flavours; cumin, avocado, lime, cilantro. This, my friends, is what they serve after you die, at the Heavenly Buffet. This salad is divinely delectable. I ate the whole bowl (throughout the week, not in one sitting. I swear).

Let me know if you try it.

p.s. it’s pronounced KEEN-wah. :)

15 Responses to "Will they eat it? Quinoa salad with black beans, avocado, and cumin-lime dressing"

1 | kaitlin

September 14th, 2011 at 9:26 am


I need a serious lesson in how to cook quinoa. I’m terrible at it, and it always ends up tasting like nothing and with the texture of fluff. At least, when I cook it. I know people who swear by it…I’m just not one of them.

2 | mommy marshall

September 14th, 2011 at 9:54 am


I will try it! I’m looking to test more vegetarian food since I find it usually is not well received in my house. Tofu hotdogs…yuck! My littlest calls it ‘Toad Food’.

If you would like another absolutely delicious and easy recipe, try the chicken dish on the cover of this month’s
Canadian Living…to die for…unfortunately not well received by the little people though either.

3 | Allison

September 14th, 2011 at 9:56 am


Totally am going to try this – thanks for posting! Our house has recently gone gluten-free and so quinoa has made an appearance in our house (and so it should, it’s so healthy!). I have another great quinoa recipe at home, it’s not online – I will copy it out and pass along as given this recipe I’m sure you’ll like it! :)

4 | Natalie

September 14th, 2011 at 10:25 am


I’m with you. I’ve made a very similar dish. Same reactions from better half and kids. Oh well, at least I have a kindred spirit somewhere ;) My black bean soup gets a much better reception (probably has something to with the thick crusty bread it is served with).

5 | When the harvest is abundant… | Javaline

September 14th, 2011 at 10:43 am


[…] apparently I wasn’t the only one thinking of making salads with quinoa […]

6 | Javamom

September 14th, 2011 at 10:45 am


Great minds think alike? I just posted about quinoa salad today…yours is on my list to try.

And great picture too!

Kaitlin, I talk about how I cook the quinoa in my post. It took me a few tries to get it right, because if quinoa is not soaked or rinsed well, it will have a funny taste. The method I use now seems to work for our family and the qunioa’s taste is more nutty than sour or ‘funny’ tasting.

7 | Lindsay

September 14th, 2011 at 11:41 am


Oh my goodness. I found this on Pinterest and the husband and I make it all the time now. Yummy!! Haven’t tried it with the kids yet. :-)

8 | Jennifer

September 14th, 2011 at 12:30 pm


Well, if they won’t eat it, I will! Looks delicious.

9 | Laura Daub

September 14th, 2011 at 5:54 pm


Yum, I will definitely try this. It has all of my favourite things too! Thanks for sharing it!

10 | Carla

September 14th, 2011 at 6:19 pm


Oh! I love quinoa. It makes wonderful salads and my kids love quinoa salads, quinoa as porridge, quinoa muffins, just quinoa. But, they do call it cous cous. First I thought about correcting them, but then I thought, they can call it whatever they want as long as they eat it, and so that was that. We have a lot of ‘couscous’ at home basically.

The thing about quinoa is you have to rinse it (and shake it in the water) at least three times before cooking to remove the natural pesticide that it contains, which is bitter. I cook with a knuckle more of water (that is, I pour quinoa in the pot, add water until there is a knuckle’s length worth on top), put on high until boiling, then on just above simmer until fluffy, takes about 20 minutes.

I often make a big pot at the beginning of the week and keep it in the fridge. Then grab bits to mix it with chickpeas and crunchy veggies, make a quinoa tabouli with parsley, cucumbers and tomatoes, heat it in the microwave then add some nuts, seeds and almond milk for breakfast, top it with sauted or steamed veggies, garlic and olive oil for a snack, throw a cup into some muffins. The possibilities are endless, it is so versatile and so nutritious, probably my favourite (non)grain!

11 | Carly

September 14th, 2011 at 8:34 pm


See now this is the kind of meal I really crave, yet hate the taste of. I’m sure I’m an oddity, but I do actually crave foods I don’t like and this salad/meal/side dish has nothing in it I actually like the taste of, but I really, really, really want to like it. Sigh.

12 | andrea

September 14th, 2011 at 8:57 pm


Oooh, I love the idea of making a big batch ahead of time. Yum. (I’m hungry reading all of your comments!)

13 | mblogler

September 15th, 2011 at 8:12 am


I absolutely love quinoa and made a different quinoa salad this week (my wife loved it, but not so much the kids), but I’m sorry to tell you that there will be mostly bacon at the heavenly buffet! :)

14 | Paula

September 15th, 2011 at 4:57 pm


My kids love quinoa – so does the husband. I think the trick is to sweeten up the ingredients a bit to appeal more to kids’ taste buds. My kids don’t like anything curry or cumin flavoured, but I frequently make a honey lime dressing, or a lemon honey dressing, add some dried cranberries in addition to your veggies and see if you get the same reaction. If your husband’s a carnivore, nothing may work, but my kids eat it regularly and I make it in big batches so the oldest one can take it to school for lunch.

15 | Debbie

September 17th, 2011 at 9:43 am


I definitely want to try this! And thanks Carla for your tips too!

comment form:


Stay in touch

Me and my pet projects

Ottawa Bucket list

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!


Connect with me at these places too!

On the nightstand

All hail the mighty Twitter