The pregnant version of me is not always a meat lover. Especially when that meat is prepared by me. I just can’t stomach it. However, when the pregnant version of me doesn’t get enough protein, there are killer headaches and crankiness involved.

Okay, if we’re being open and honest here–perhaps the headaches and crankiness would be present even if I ate a whole cow. God bless my husband and his patience.

Anyways, I look for ways to incorporate protein without throwing a big fat chicken breast on my plate. Chicken is the worst. Bacon? Bacon I can handle. Go figure.

This Quinoa Salad with Cumin-Lime Dressing is sure to become a summertime favorite with its unique dressing! Get the easy recipe on!

This salad is a great source of protein both because of the beans and the quinoa. I love quinoa. Have you hopped on the quinoa bandwagon yet? If you aren’t familiar with this grain, I cover some of the interesting facts in this post. One of my favorite, and slightly unconventional, uses for quinoa is in pancakes. These pancakes freeze perfectly and make a great breakfast on the run. I’ve also done savory quinoa pancakes. I swear I’m not obsessed with pancakes. Really. Swear.

And there are more quinoa recipes! I love the stuff. I often cook a whole package and stick it in the freezer. Cuts down on prep time and it freezes really well. This recipe was perfect for lunch, dinner or even a quick snack. It is super filling as is, but I added some chicken breast for hubs. To make up for the headaches and crankiness.

Quinoa Salad with Cumin Lime Dressing

This quinoa salad makes a great lunch and is perfect for picnics.


5 cups cooked and cooled quinoa
one 15 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
2 ears of corn, kernels cut from cob
2 cups halved or quartered cherry tomatoes
1 cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, and diced
1-2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper (~1/2 of a bell pepper)
2 avocados, diced

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (~1 lime)
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1/3 cup olive oil


1. Mix first four ingredients of dressing together in a small measuring cup or bowl. While whisking, add in olive oil.
2. Combine all salad ingredients in very large bowl. Pour dressing over and gently stir until combined and all ingredients are coated with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

  • This tastes great with some salty, crunchy tortilla chips. You can even use them in place of a fork.
  • This makes A LOT. Great for a crowd, or great left over.
  • Firmer (less ripe) avocados work better for this recipe as they will not mush as you stir it.
  • I took some cooked, diced chicken breasts out of the freezer to add to my husband’s salad. Between the quinoa and the beans, this salad has plenty of protein but my man needs his meat.
All images and text ©Rachel Cooks.

Verdict: Delicious! This recipe is so versatile that you could add in whatever veggies you have on hand.
Husband’s take: “It is better than I expected.” “The dressing makes it.” He loved it! E didn’t like it at first (I think it was a texture thing with the quinoa), but once we gave her a few chips and let her scoop it up with the chips, she was all about it.
Changes I would make: None. Like I said though, there are many variations possible. Add feta, use chickpeas instead of black beans, whatever you want!
Difficulty: Lots of prep work but comes together quickly once you get all the veggies chopped.

This Quinoa Salad with Cumin-Lime Dressing is sure to become a summertime favorite with its unique dressing! Get the easy recipe on!