Southwestern salad

Southwestern Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

I’ve finally discovered a salad that is filling enough for dinner and I’m so excited to share! This salad has it all…crispy quinoa, perfectly seasoned roasted veggies, and a cilantro vinaigrette worth obsessing over.

Southwestern salad

I mean…

This recipe is from my go-to resource for fresh and healthy (but still totally delicious) recipes, What’s Gaby Cooking. You can find the original here! I switched things up slightly, so feel free to do the same and add whatever vegetables and toppings your heart desires! Hunter added a grilled chicken breast to his. Let us unleash the health vibes!

You’ll need:

    • ¼ cup cooked quinoa
    • 2 bunches kale, finely sliced (They didn’t have the kale I wanted, so I used spring mix and it was great!)
    • 2 cups diced sweet potatoes (¼ -inch cubes)
    • 1 poblano pepper, chopped
    • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
    • 2 cups tightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1 medium lime
    • 2 avocados
    • 1 14oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
    • ¼ cup crumbled cotija cheese
    • EVOO
    • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
    • 2 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp smoked paprika
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • Red pepper flakes


    1. Preheat oven to 425°F. On a baking sheet, toss sweet potato and poblano with olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin and paprika. Once coated, evenly distribute the vegetables and roast 20-25 minutes or until tender.
    2. While the veggies are roasting, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the cooked quinoa and toast for 3-4 minutes until golden brown and crunchy. Remove and set aside to cool.
    3. Prepare the cilantro vinaigrette. Combine cilantro, shallot, garlic, red pepper flakes, and red wine vinegar and blend in a food processor or blender until smooth, adding olive oil as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    4. Assemble the salad! Toss the greens with lime juice and salt in a large serving bowl. Add diced avocado, quinoa, black beans, cotija cheese and roasted vegetables. Toss with cilantro vinaigrette and season with freshly ground pepper and red pepper flakes.

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