A few weeks ago, I made this recipe for the first time. Josh was home the day I made the radish pickles, but left town before he could actually eat one of the fully assembled bowls. All he got was the pleasure of listening to me rave about how delicious my lunch was every day.
He’s a lucky guy.
This past Sunday, we grabbed a variety of random spring produce at our newly opened farmer’s market (!) and brought it all home to think about how to incorporate it into our meal plan this week. This is a slightly different method than we usually use, going into the market with no list, just seeing what they have, but it worked out extremely well. After discussing a few options with asparagus, Josh brought up my lunch bowl that he missed out on, and I knew we had a winner.
One of the beautiful things about this recipe is how adaptable it is. This time, we had fresh tender lettuce, thin bright asparagus, and delicate baby sugar snap peas from the market, and added them all into the mix. Since I already had a jar of pickled radishes in the fridge from the last time, that part was easy as can be. We made the dressing with goat’s milk yogurt, since it doesn’t seem to make Josh’s allergies act up the way cow’s milk does, and added a good bit more lemon juice than the recipe calls for (this is pretty normal for my sour loving self).
Spring lettuce, quinoa (cooked in my usual way) tossed in lots of sea salt, lemon juice and some olive oil, grilled asparagus, sliced sugar snap peas, cubed avocado, thawed baby peas, and pickled radish slices, all topped in a tangy, creamy dill dressing?
Sign me up.
See the original recipe here at My New Roots, and adapt to your heart’s content.
This lunch was kind of an impulse recipe. I had been thinking of making our beloved roasted vegetable and hummus mix it up salads, but I just wasn’t in the mood for hummus. I saw a few recipes for a creamy cilantro dressing that I thought might be the perfect way to brighten things up, and it all just kind of progressed from there.
Result? Total win.
Southwestern Quinoa Bowl With Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing
This definitely is another choose your own adventure salad. Whatever spices and vegetables sound good or you already have, use them.
- 1 c. quinoa, cooked in our rice cooker according to this method. I added 1/2 tsp taco seasoning, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper to the cooking water. When the quinoa was done cooking but still warm, I added the zest and juice of 1 lime, a splash of olive oil, and salt to taste.
- We used zucchini, squash, and carrots, chopped, tossed in olive oil, with salt, pepper, taco seasoning, and smoked paprika. Roast at 450 for 30 minutes, stirring once halfway.
- On top, we added black beans and diced avocado, plus a generous amount of cilantro dressing.
Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing (based on this recipe)
- 1 c. chopped cilantro, loosely packed
- 1/2 c. plain yogurt (we used goat’s milk yogurt, but you could use coconut milk yogurt and omit the sweetener)
- Juice of 1/2 lime, more if you like it tart
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
- 1/8 tsp.. salt
- 1/2 tsp. sweetener of choice (we used succinct, but sugar, honey, agave… all good)
- Dash of cayenne
Add all of the ingredients to the food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. The garlic flavor will intensify over the next few days.