Spicy Mexican Salad

This super delicious Spicy Mexican Quinoa salad is pure smoky chilli goodness.  I made it recently for a friend who was coming over on a week night to watch the 1D movie without kids…yes I know…what can I say? It’s like stepping back decades and being a teenage pop fan all over again!  Swooning over Harry (the Harry of 2 years ago not the long-haired-flower-suit-wearing Harry of today) and discussing how their parents must have felt about their fame.  Anyway, this salad was a huge hit.

It started out life as a ‘clean’ recipe from one of my favourite cookbooks and I have since adapted it to include smoky chilli grilled chicken and a dollop of chipotle mayonnaise for a little extra smoky goodness.  If you are wanting to stay on the ‘clean’ side of the fence, then omit the chipotle mayonnaise and whiz up some avocado with a little lime and a dash of tabasco as an accompaniment instead.  This is comfort food that is light to eat and full of flavour.  No 1D movie needed.

Spicy Mexican Salad

Spicy Mexican Salad

Spicy Mexican Quinoa Salad

Serves 2

125g quinoa
200ml water
2 tbsp coconut oil or butter, melted
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 corn cobs, outer leaves removed

200g cherry tomatoes, finely diced
1 red pepper, finely diced
1 avocado, cut into small chunks
1 tbsp cider vinegar (use another vinegar if you don’t have cider)
1 tbsp olive oil
Handful fresh coriander, finely chopped

Smoky Spicy Grilled Chicken
1 small red chilli (include seeds if you like it hot)
2 cloves garlic
small handful coriander roots
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp malt vinegar (substitute with another vinegar if you don’t have malt)
1 tsp smoked paprika
sea salt and cracked black pepper
2 x chicken breast fillets

Smoky Chipotle Mayonnaise
2 chipotle chillies (from 1 can of chipotles in adobo)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tbsp lime juice

Start by preparing the corn.  Combine the coconut oil or butter, paprika and cayenne.  Mix to combine and then coat the corn in the spicy mixture.  Wrap the corn in foil and grill on the BBQ or under the grill for 20 minutes or until cooked.  Turn the corn every so often so it blackens evenly.  Once cooked, remove the foil and allow the corn to cool then use a sharp knife to cut the kernels away from the cob.  Set aside.

Put the quinoa in a saucepan with the water and a pinch of salt.  Bring to the boil then turn the heat down and simmer gently until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is cooked (it usually takes 12 -15 minutes).

Make the salsa by combining all of the ingredients.  Set aside.

Make the marinade for the chicken by placing all the ingredients into a food processor and blend to create a marinade mixture.  Open out the chicken breasts (or beat slightly) so that their thickness is even.  Coat the chicken in the spicy marinade, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Preheat a BBQ (or you could use a frying pan) until hot.  Grill the chicken until cooked through and browned.

To make the chipotle mayonnaise, blitz all the ingredients in a blender.

To assemble the dish, combine the quinoa with the spicy corn and season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with the salsa.  Slice the chicken and place on top of the salsa and serve the chipotle mayonnaise on the side for guests to help themselves.


Spicy Mexican Quinoa Salad

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