Avocado & Quinoa Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Trendy or not, I love quinoa.  A good quinoa isn’t mushy, but light and fluffy.  Each grain should individually pop in your mouth, and not lump up into gooey spoonfuls.  It isn’t an easy thing to make.  It can be tricky and temperamental.  I’ve learned through trial, error, and research online that there are some easy steps to avoid the tragedy of mushy quinoa.   So the next time you make quinoa, be sure to follow these steps:

  1. Rinse the starchy powder off the quinoa
  2. Use the ratio of 1 part quinoa to 1.5 part liquid (not 2 parts liquid as most packages say)
  3. Do not stir the quinoa while cooking, EVER!!!

I’ve tried making quinoa a few different ways however I like it best as a salad with avocado and this refreshing orange vinaigrette dressing.

Avocado & Quinoa Salad with Orange Vinaigrette | toni woo + food


1          c. quinoa

1.5       c.  water

1          tsp. Better Than Bouillion Chicken Base

TT        salt, to taste

1          tomato, diced

1/2       small onion, diced

1           avocado, diced

1/2       can of white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

6-8       basil leaves, chopped

1           oz. red wine vinegar

1           oz. olive oil

1           tsp. dijon mustard

1/2       orange zest and juice

1          garlic clove, minced or grated


Using a mesh strainer, rinse the quinoa to remove the starchy powder.

Add the rinsed quinoa, water, chicken base, and salt to a medium sized pot.  ***Do not stir

Bring liquid to a boil, then reduce to a simmer on medium-low heat.  ***Do not stir

Cover with a lid and cook for 18-20 minutes.  ***Do not stir

After the 18-20 minutes, all of the liquid will be absorbed.  Turn the heat off (***Do not stir) and let the quinoa rest for another 5 minutes with the lid on.  This helps to dry up the quinoa so that it is not mushy.

Remove lid and fluff quinoa with a fork (not a spoon).  Let cool for 20-30 minutes before adding fresh ingredients.

While the quinoa is cooling, rinse the canned beans and dice your vegetables — tomatoes, onions, avocado, and basil.

To make the dressing, in a jar, combine the red wine vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, fresh orange zest, orange juice, and minced/grated garlic.  Cover the jar and shake until combined.

Toss all ingredients and vinaigrette dressing together.  Enjoy!


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