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Quinoa Taco Salad

May is National Salad Month and we've asked our staff to share some of their favorite salad recipes! Enjoy a non-traditional twist to your favorite taco salad, shared by State College's Gym Manager, Stephanie.

Send us a message and let us know what you think! Maybe, just maybe, our staff with the most comments will get a prize! Shh... don't tell them.


(Feel free to use store bought items ie: charred corn or pico to save time. Also swap out your favorite protein for tofu. Shrimp, chicken, or steak would all be excellent with this) Get creative with toppings!

Ingredients

For the charred corn & poblano:
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 ear of corn, kernels sliced off the cob (about ½ cup)
For the cherry tomato pico
  • ¼ cup sliced cherry tomatoesv
  • ½ lime, juiced (1-2 tablespoons)
  • ¼ cup sliced scallions, white and green parts, (about 2-3)
  • Sea salt
For the chipotle lime dressing:
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper
For the salad:
  • 1 cup cooked red quinoa
  • 2 cups arugula
  • ½ cup cubed tofu (or meat or cheese of your choice)
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • ½ sliced avocado
  • Tortilla strips from 1 tortilla, sliced, baked, and salted
  • ½ lime, for squeezing

Instructions

Roast the poblano pepper and char the corn: Place the poblano under the broiler for 20 or so minutes, until blistered on all sides. The time will vary depending on the heat of your broiler. When it’s fully blistered, remove and place in a bowl and cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel, making sure the covering does not touch the pepper. Set aside for 15 minutes or so, until it’s cool enough to handle. Using your fingers, slide off the skin and remove the stem and seeds. Chop into roughly ¼-inch pieces and place in a small bowl.

Toss the corn kernels with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Roast corn kernels under the broiler for 4-5 minutes or until they just begin to blacken. Remove from the oven, toss with the chopped poblano, and set aside.

Make the cherry tomato pico: In another small bowl, toss together cherry tomatoes, lime juice, scallions, and a few pinches of salt. Set aside.

In another small bowl, whisk together the dressing: olive oil, lime juice, ancho chile powder, chipotle powder, agave, salt, and pepper. (It might taste too tangy/spicy/sweet on it’s own… but remember that it will get diluted when you mix it with everything else). Set aside.

Assemble the salad: In a large bowl combine the red quinoa, arugula, tofu, and cilantro with the dressing. You might not need all of the dressing, start with half and add more to your liking. Toss in the charred corn, chopped poblano, and pico. Taste and adjust seasonings. Top with the sliced avocado, tortilla strips, and a squeeze of lime.


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