Mexican Taco Quinoa Salad

With spring in the air I’m always looking for salads that are also full meals, and are super easy to make. I even make this salad on Shabbos because all the ingredients can be cold. it’s also a great salad because it fills you up! I don’t always love quinoa but in salads, I find it a fun welcome texture against the lettuce and other veggies. This salad is jam packed with flavor and texture from the meat to the dressings to the little veggies, to the cut up romaine, it is most definitely both a palate pleaser, as well as a crowd pleaser. I used to make this years ago but I brought it to a new level with a few extra additions and a crema that just brings it all together.

Mexican Taco Quinoa Salad
a lovely taco salad with quinoa and the fixin's
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large head romaine checked, cleaned, and sliced into thin ribbons
  2. 10 cherry tomatoes sliced in halves
  3. 1-2 Persian Cucumbers cut up small
  4. 1-2 corns on the cob steamed for 5 minutes and kernels cut off the stalk (can use frozen or canned)
  5. ½ can black beans rinsed
  6. 2-3 scallions sliced thin
  7. 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  8. Juice from 2 lemons
  9. ½ tsp salt
  10. 1 cup quinoa cooked according to package directions and cooled
  11. 1 lb lean Meal Mart chopped meat
  12. 2-3 tbsp taco seasoning
  13. ½ cup mayonnaise
  14. 1 tsp Mrs. Dash/or 21 season solute/or everyday seasoning from Trader Joe’s
  15. Pinch Paprika
  16. Pinch garlic powder
  17. Pinch black pepper
  18. Taco chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. Meat mixture
  2. In a skillet over medium/high heat add the chopped meat and break up into crumbles, and cook until no longer pink and meat is cooked through, drain any grease in a colander and transfer meat back into the pan.
  3. Mix taco seasoning into the meat and cook for about 1 more minute.
  4. Set meat aside.
  5. Quinoa mixture
  6. Add cooked quinoa to a bowl and add in corn, beans, scallions, juice from 1 lemon, olive oil, salt, and pepper (adjust seasoning if needed)
  7. Crema
  8. Mix mayonnaise, juice from 1 lemon, Mrs. Dash, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper until uniform
  9. To assemble salad
  10. Place quinoa on the bottom of a large bowl
  11. Add romaine, cucumber, and tomato on top
  12. Sprinkle on top meat mixture
  13. Drizzle crema on top of the salad
Notes
  1. To assemble salad
  2. Place quinoa on the bottom of a large bowl
  3. Add romaine, cucumber, and tomato on top
  4. Sprinkle on top meat mixture
  5. Drizzle crema on top of the salad
  6. Top with taco chips if desired
  7. Enjoy!
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