Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Chili-Lime Dressing

Serve this colourful, high-fibre, low-sodium salad as a flavour-packed side dish to any grilled meats or by itself as a satisfying lunch.


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1-3/4 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup quartered grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup no-salt-added canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup whole-kernel corn
  • 1 cup diced orange bell pepper
  • ½ cup chopped green onions (with white parts)
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, very finely minced
  • 2 to 3 tbsp minced fresh cilantro


  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2 tsp honey
  • ½ tsp each ground cumin and chili powder
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Combine quinoa and vegetable broth in a medium pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until quinoa has absorbed all liquid and is tender (check package for exact cooking time). Be careful not to burn it! Remove from heat  (leave lid on pot) and let stand for 10 minutes. Uncover and let cool completely.

Transfer cooked and cooled quinoa to a large bowl. Add tomatoes, beans, corn, bell pepper, onions, jalapeno and cilantro. Mix well.

In a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Pour over salad. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.

Makes 6 servings

Per serving (1 cup): 243 calories, 7.4 g total fat (0.7 g saturated fat), 6 g protein, 38 g carbohydrate, 7.2 g fibre, 0 mg cholesterol, 182 mg sodium

The Right Stuff

Quinoa-stuffed bell peppers with shiitake mushrooms, spinach, green peas, feta and mint

  • 2 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • ½ tsp each ground cumin, ground coriander and curry powder
  • 6 medium bell peppers in a variety of colours
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 cups chopped shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped baby spinach leaves
  • ½ cup sweet green peas
  • ½ cup crumbled light feta cheese (2 oz/57 g)
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste

Combine vegetable broth, quinoa, cumin, coriander and curry powder in a medium pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, until ready to use.

Trim the tops off bell peppers. Remove seeds and discard stems. Mince tops and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a deep, 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add onions, reserved minced bell pepper tops and garlic. Cook and stir until vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to cook until mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes.  Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa with mushroom mixture, peas, feta, mint, lemon zest and black pepper. Mix well. Spoon filling into bell peppers. Place peppers upright in a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Cover loosely with foil. Bake at 375°F for 25 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until bell peppers are tender, about 10 to 15 more minutes. Serve hot.

Makes 6 servings

Per serving: 244 calories, 7.1 g total fat (1.8 g saturated fat), 9 g protein, 38 g carbohydrate, 8 g fibre, 8 mg cholesterol, 187 mg sodium

Variation: Replace the feta cheese with freshly grated Parmesan and try fresh basil leaves instead of mint.