Colorful Quinoa Salad with Chili Avocado Yogurt Dressing

Good morning! It is quite the hot day here in NYC. My friend Katie and I got up this morning to go for a walk in Central Park and were seriously sweating after just a few minutes. Yesterday was no different… it was one of those days where you walk outside and you might as well be in a sauna. So, as I was walking home from work in the sauna, I was toying with different dinner ideas in my head. All I knew was that anything hot or that required me to touch my oven was out of the question. I just wanted something to cool me off!

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Salads are rarely on my mind come dinner time, but yesterday was one of those hot summer days when all you want is something light, cool and refreshing.

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But this dinner needed some spice. It needed something interesting. I can’t do boring or I just end up unsatisfied. Ah- ha! I will make a good dressing, a dressing that I’ve never had before and that will take this beautiful lookin’ quinoa salad to the next level.

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So I started thinking… I want something creamy. I have avocados and yogurt. Wouldn’t those go well together? I have never really made a dressing before, so I wasn’t sure. I started googling a few things just to make sure I wasn’t going to be totally off base with this concoction I was dreaming up. Turns out, yes, there are dressings with an avocado/yogurt base out there in the world. Sweet.

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I swear there is quinoa under there. A whole cup, in fact. Topped with cucumbers, red and orange peppers, chopped red onion and two hard boiled eggs. Fun fact: this was the first time I had EVER hard boiled eggs. I know… amateur. I used this technique and although it worked, I had the hardest time peeling off the shell. What did I do wrong? I didn’t add salt to the water, maybe that was it? Mom… if you are out there.. please advise 🙂

I turned to my mini food processor for the dressing. Half an avocado, a couple tablespoons of greek yogurt, some lemon juice. I then had this idea to make it slightly spicy, so I grabbed the chili powder. I kept adding more and more until it had some kick. It reminded me of a dressing you would find at a Mexican restaurant to top off a taco salad.

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All mixed together… see I told you there was quinoa.

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This was delicious and special. It was a good change up from my normal olive oil + vinegar dressing. It was creamy, thick, and tasty. Not to mention super healthy. Win, win!

With the leftovers (1/2 an avocado base yields 2-3 generous servings), I created my lunch for today:

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I added the dressing to more quinoa, chopped spinach, peppers, cucumbers and a chopped up turkey burger. I can’t wait to break into this.

In other news… get ready to cry. Bring out the tissues. My friend sent me this link this morning and it brought tears to my eyes. It is definitely worth checking out :

Have a great Thursday!


Colorful Quinoa Salad with Chili Avocado Dressing: 

makes 1 salad and 2-3 generous servings of the dressing

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or you could use feta for a stronger flavor)
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 1/4 cup dressing

For the dressing (creates 2-3 generous servings):

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 T greek yogurt ( I use 0% Fage)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 t chopped garlic
  • 1/2 T chili powder

Combine all dressing ingredients in a food processor. Generously pour on top of all salad ingredients. Mix together!

5 thoughts on “Colorful Quinoa Salad with Chili Avocado Yogurt Dressing

  1. This looks so good! I need to make it asap, def looks refreshing – something you need to survive 100+ degree days here in Austin 🙂 When I do hard-boiled eggs I peel them under running water. I know, not very economical, but I feel like the water helps speed the process along.

      • Thanks! I also tried peeling them under running water but that didn’t seem to work. Maybe I will try adding salt and keeping them in the hot water for longer. We’ll see… I hope you are surviving the Austin heat okay : ) I’ve always wanted to go to Austin!

  2. Jamie, this looks fantastic, I am definitely going to be making this and will pass on to Kath (my vegetarian niece who introduced me to quinoa). Love your blog, xo Deb

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