We are great big fans of Mexican food. It’s a shame that traditional Tex-Mex is not very figure friendly. Things are fried in lard and served wrapped in other things that were fried in lard. But it’s delicious 🙂
In an attempt to lighten up Mexican night at home, I usually target the sides. Because trying to healthify queso is just… wrong 🙂 Pinto beans take a whirl in the food processor for homemade refried beans. And we swap the rice side dish for quinoa.
Quinoa is a grain that we’ve incorporated more and more into our menus over the last year. It’s higher in protein and fiber than rice and makes a healthier alternative – and it tastes a lot like brown rice.
On Mexican night, we mix a generous batch of pico de gallo and lime juice into cooked (and cooled) quinoa. It can be served warm but it really shines as a cold dish. The flavors are fresher and brighter and the veggies offer a cold, crisp contrast to the quinoa – it’s the perfect summer side dish when TexMex is on the menu.
Tomatoes, lime, red onion and quinoa make a fresher, lighter side dish for taco night.
- 2 cups quinoa, uncooked
- 4 cups chicken broth or stock
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 4 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1 jalapeno or serrano, seeded and diced
- Juice of 1-2 limes (to taste)
- Small handful of cilantro, chopped
- Cook quinoa in chicken broth, according to package directions.
- Place quinoa in a shallow dish and spread out, covering with damp paper towels and refrigerate until cold, about an hour. (This step is optional, but recommended)
- Toss cold quinoa with the juice of 1 lime, onion, tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro. Salt and pepper to taste and add additional lime juice if desired.
- Serve cold and store leftovers in an airtight bowl.
Yields: 8 generous side servings
Estimated time: 2 hours
Calories: 195.0 | Fat: 3.5g | Fiber 11.7g | Protein 8.1g | Carbs 31.7
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 4