southwestern quinoa salad

August 29, 2011
Did you know that the first of September is this week?  What?  How did this happen?  I'm still getting into my summer groove, and do not appreciate September sneaking up on me this way.  

While I'm all about making my fall shopping list, I'm tearful about loosing this warm hot summer weather.   I suppose I could be persuaded to be a little more cheerful about the upcoming season change if I had this beautiful little thing around my neck.  
Because it's still August and also because it still feels like a well-heated-oven outside, I'd like to introduce to you a light little meal perfect for a quick dinner.  Not so sure if it's my close proximity to Mexico or the abundance of Tex-Mex restaurants that surround me here in Austin, but I can never grow tired of the southwestern flavors.  

Southwestern Quinoa Salad
vegan, gluten-free
for the dressing
3 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin

2 cups cooked quinoa
1 avocado, sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup fresh corn
2 scallions, white and green parts sliced
1 carrot, shredded
3 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, chopped
  1. To prepare dressing, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, chili powder, and cumin  in a small bowl until dressing is emulsified. 
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in large bowl along with dressing and gently fold together until well mixed and evenly coated. Season to taste with salt. Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve cool.