Queue the Quinoa

I have been thinking about a number of different titles for this blog post. Everything from Quinoa Catastrophe (which there was one) to Crazy about Quinoa. I finally settled on Queue the Quinoa.

quinoaI have recently become obsessed with quinoa and also with orzo. Both totally different but both very versatile ingredients. Earlier this year my daughter had quinoa as part of earning a Girl Scout badge and liked it. We bought some and there it sat in my pantry, a testament to good intentions. When Try It Tuesday started using that bag of quinoa was first on my list. I made this tasty salad, Quinoa Avocado Spinach Power Salad from the Garden Grazer.

So where does the catastrophe come in you ask? I dared to repeat the salad when my mother in law was visiting. I had sent her a picture of it and bragged about how good it was. My attempt at making it for her visit was a catastrophe to say the least. I made the quinoa according to the package directions, water measurements, length of cooking time and as a result, I got a gloppy watered down mess. I chucked the whole thing. Luckily I had the first package still in the pantry (where it had a little bit left in the bottom of the bag). I read the instructions – which were different from the bag I had bought locally. I tried again, this time following the original directions and guess what?

I burned it.


Totally inedible.

Was I a glutton for punishment? Did I dare try a third time or was it time to go to plan B? Would Murphy’s Law rear it’s ugly head?
The third time was a charm. I kept an eye on it the entire time it was cooking. The key to cooking quinoa – to 1 ¼ cups boiling water, add 1 cup rinsed quinoa. Turn down to a simmer for just about 12 minutes.


Southwest Quinoa (with optional Grilled Salsa Chicken)
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  1. 1 cup unprepared quinoa
  2. Corn (2-3 ears, or about 1 cup of frozen Organic corn)
  3. 1 small can of Black beans, drained
  4. ¼ red bell pepper diced
  5. Cherry Tomatoes
  6. Avocado sliced
  7. Sour cream for garnish
  8. Mixed greens for base
  9. 1 cup Costco Mango salsa
  1. Prepare your quinoa by cooking quinoa - to 1 ¼ cups boiling water, add 1 cup rinsed quinoa. Turn down to a simmer for just about 12 minutes.
  2. Add the diced bell pepper, corn, cherry tomatoes, black beans and toss. (NOTE: I actually did not toss mine together because hubby is not a fan of beans or corn)
  3. Place chicken in a zip top bag, add a cup of salsa of your choice and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes. Grill until done. Let it rest 10 minutes and then slice it into strips.
  4. On a plate, spread the mixed greens for a base, add your quinoa salad mix, top with sliced avocado, mango salsa, sliced chicken, and dollop of sour cream.
  1. For optional Grilled Salsa Chicken
  2. 1 cup regular salsa
  3. 2-3 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  4. Steve said the only thing that he would add is a few tortilla strips!
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