Wholesome quinoa and heart-healthy black beans are brought together in this nutritious salad with avocado, tomatoes, pepitas, and a smokin' chipotle vinaigrette.
Place quinoa in a mesh strainer and rinse the grains thoroughly. Transfer the quinoa to a medium saucepan and toast the quinoa over medium heat for a minute or two.
Add the vegetable broth to the saucepan, then sprinkle in the garlic powder, cumin, coriander, and salt. Stir the quinoa to give it a quick mix and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low. Cover the quinoa and let it simmer until it's tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed (about 15 to 20 minutes). When it's done, fluff it with a fork and set it aside.
Add all if the ingredients—from the red wine vinegar to the lime juice (leave the olive oil out for now)—to a blender and blend on low until smooth. While the mixture is still blending on low, add the olive oil in a slow and steady stream. This prevents the mixture from separating. Transfer to a bottle or container and set aside.
Add the cooked quinoa to a large bowl along with the black beans, toasted pepitas, spinach, avocado, onion, and tomatoes. Add half of the dressing and toss to coat. Taste. If you feel it needs more dressing, add more to your taste. Reserve any leftover vinaigrette for other salads* throughout the week.
Garnish with parsley or cilantro and serve as a side or keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days as a light lunch option or snack.
Toasting pepitas: Place the pepitas in a dry skillet and heat over medium-low heat, shaking/stirring occasionally to prevent burning, until the seeds are aromatic and turning slightly golden in color. This should take about 3-5 minutes; keep a close eye on them.
*Not sure what to do with the leftover chipotle vinaigrette? Try my Shrimp Fajita Salad! (https://www.killingthyme.net/2018/02/12/shrimp-fajita-salad-chipotle-vinaigrette/)