Friday, August 31, 2012

Recipe to Reality: Monster Taco Salad with Chimichurri Quinoa!

Taco Salad with Chimichurri Quinoa!

Salads and I have a "Love / Hate" relationship. 

I absolutely love veggies, and when I'm out to eat it's not uncommon for a salad to catch my eye when it's loaded with yummy bits that I would find tedious to put together at home.

But sometimes a cheeseburger, wrap, or eggplant hero woos me instead.

Although, I can't go to Chili's without ordering the Quesadilla Explosion Salad, and my husband fell in love with the "Macho Salad" from Barrada in Chicago, IL. First of all, I couldn't believe that he actually ordered a salad, and beyond that he talked about it all weekend...

So we know how to enjoy a salad...just sometimes lack the self-control to order one ;)

This Monster Taco Salad I found at Simply Love Food did not disappoint our taste buds. 

I was excited to make this salad since it's full of delicious veggies and I have been wanting to try quinoa! I used this article at Savvy Vegetarian to help guide me in how to successfully cook the quinoa. 

You will know the quinoa is done when their "tails" come out!
Basically, I soaked the quinoa for about 5 minutes, rinsed it, and then put it in a pot to cook for about 13 minutes. I used 1 1/2 cups of quinoa and 2 cups of water.

Servings: 2 large salads.

Here's what you'll need for the Chimichurri Quinoa!

  • 1 1/2 cups of quinoa, cooked
  • 1 handful of fresh parsley
  • 1 handful of fresh cilantro
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • Salt & pepper
  •  2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar 
  • A splash of agave nectar
  • ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • Make sure that you taste the chimichurri as you go and add what you think it needs. I ended up adding more herbs, vinegar, and salt because I could taste too much oil.
Chimichurri ready for processing!

Quinoa Time!
1) In a food processor, (I used my Ninja!) combine all ingredients except the quinoa.
2) Coat your cooked quinoa with the chimichurri sauce and set aside.

Quinoa dressed with Chimichurri!

Here's what you'll need for the Salad!

  • 1 large bunch of romaine roughly chopped
  • 1 lb of ground turkey
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 avocado, sliced or diced
  • 1-2 ears of corn, cleaned and kernels removed from the cob
  • Salsa
Prep your ingredients!
1) It's a great idea to grill your corn to give it a little char. I used leftover corn on the cob from a BBQ last weekend, cut it off the cob, and warmed it up in the oven.
2) Brown your ground turkey in a skillet until you can't see any more pink, and add your packet of taco seasoning plus 3/4 of a cup of water. 

Ground Turkey with Taco Seasoning

Put it all together!
1) Divide the roughly chopped romaine lettuce between the two plates.
2) Add a good helping of the chimichurri quinoa and the ground taco turkey.
3) Next add your veggies: bell pepper, tomato, corn, and avocado.
4. Garnish with extra cilantro and salsa and enjoy!

My husband helped me plate these :)

We ate both salads in their entirety and my husband even went back for an extra helping of quinoa! We have a lot of leftover quinoa but the chimichurri sauce was so delicious with its herbaceous and garlicy flavor that I can't wait to have a helping for lunch!

I will admit that I thought we had a block of cheddar cheese in the fridge, that my husband was looking forward to on these salads, but we ate them without and they were tasty nonetheless!

Definitely a delicious salad for veggie and taco lovers!

Foodie Friends Friday
Stay Savory,


  1. I have a love/hate relationship with salads too....they just taste so much better when someone else makes them. I love eating salad when I go out to eat. This is perfect for sharing at Foodie Friends Friday. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. I love salads! Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday! Don't forget to come back and VOTE on Sunday!

  3. I love quinoa... and always looking for new recipes. Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday and hope you will join us this week for more great recipes. Newest follower here.


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