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Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad Jars

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    Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad Jars

    If you haven’t already, it’s high time you embraced the trend of meals in a jar. Packing your lunch in jars lets you make portions ahead of time that are easy to transport to the office, minus any soggy ingredients. You can choose to keep the salad components separate and stuff a jar each night for the next day’s lunch, or prepare a whole batch of jars at once.

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    The acid from the smoky chipotle dressing helps keep the avocado from browning. Tortillas add nice crunch, and by placing them in the jar far from the dressing, they don’t turn soggy. Ditto for the greens. Still, if storing the jars for more than a day or two, you may want to place a piece of parchment paper between the chips and greens to help keep them crispy.

    1 cup (250 mL) quinoa
    1 1/2 cups (350 mL) frozen corn
    1 cup (250 mL) plain yogurt
    3 Tbsp (45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
    Juice of 1 lime
    1/2 cup (125 mL) cilantro
    1 small chipotle chili pepper in adobo sauce
    1 garlic clove, chopped
    1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cumin
    1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
    1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
    3 small avocado, diced
    1 1/2 cups (350 mL) cooked black beans
    1 1/2 cups (350 mL) cooked pinto beans
    2 1/2 cups (625 mL) cherry tomatoes, halved
    3 cups (750 mL) baby spinach or baby kale
    2 cups (500 mL) unsalted tortilla chips, crumbled

    In fine mesh sieve, rinse quinoa well with cold water. Heat heavy-bottomed medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add quinoa and heat, stirring often, until grains are dry and beginning to pop with a toasty aroma. Carefully pour in 1 3/4 cups (435 mL) water, bring to a boil and simmer, covered, over medium-low heat until quinoa is tender, about 12 minutes. Drain any excess water, set aside to cool, and then fluff with fork.

    Prepare corn according to package directions and drain.

    Place yogurt, oil, lime juice, cilantro, chipotle pepper, garlic, cumin, salt, and black pepper in blender container and blend until smooth.

    To assemble, place about 1/4 cup (60 mL) yogurt dressing in each of 6 large wide-mouth glass jars. Divide avocado, black beans, pinto beans, quinoa, corn, tomatoes, spinach or kale, and tortilla chips among jars in that order and seal shut.

    To serve, turn jar upside down and pour salad onto serving plate or simply stir together contents in the jar—and dig in.

    Serves 6.

    Each serving contains: 525 calories; 19 g protein; 23 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 67 g total carbohydrates (7 g sugars, 17 g fibre); 155 mg sodium

    source: "The Lunch Bunch", alive #378, January 2015

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    Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad Jars

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