Spring is in the air and I’m getting excited for the weather to warm up and to be able to wear lighter clothes soon.  I actually have a few flowers that just popped up in my front yard so I’m buzzing with excitement.  We all need to get ready for those summer clothes right now and salads are a great way to drop a couple of pounds.

This salad is very hearty that you can just have it alone as a meal.  The quinoa is super high in protein and satisfies a big appetite.  Add what ever other Mexican flavors you enjoy like jalapenos or red onions to make it just the way you like it.

The Ranch recipe is similar to my Cucumber Cashew Ranch just minus the cucumbers and add chipotle seasoning.  It all comes together in less than 30 minutes!

Mexican Quinoa Salad w/chipotle Ranch Dressing

Mexican Quinoa Salad with Chipotle Ranch Dressing

Greens of your choice
1/4 cup cooked quiona-per plate (cook according to package directions-chill if desired while making the Ranch)
Handful black beans
Toppings of your choice; olives, onions, tomatoes, avocado
Top with Chipotle Ranch Dressing (recipe below)

Chipotle Ranch Dressing
Makes approx 2 cups dressing

1 cup soaked raw cashews (NOT roasted or salted!)
Enough clean water to just barely cover the cashews once placed in the blender or food processor
1 teaspoon (or more to taste) garlic powder
1 teaspoon (or more to taste) onion powder
1 teaspoon (or more to taste) dried parsley
1 teaspoon (or more to taste) chives
1/2 teaspoon (or more to taste) dill weed
1/2 teaspoon(or more to taste) lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon (or more to taste) sea salt
1/2 teaspoon (or more to taste) chipotle seasoning (Mrs. Dash works great since no salt is added)
pepper to taste

Make sure you soak your nuts, rinse completely and pour into your high powered blender or food processor.

Add all the rest of the ingredients in the order listed and blend until creamy.  If you are doing this in a food processor stop periodically and scrape the sides down.

Taste and adjust the spices to your liking.  If you need it to be thinner adjust the moisture with more water.

Pour into a container with a lid and refrigerate until well chilled, although it can be eaten right away if you do not mind it slightly warm.

Mexican Quinoa Salad

Mexican Quinoa Salad w/chipotle Ranch Dressing

Pour onto your salad and ENJOY!

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Mexican Quinoa Salad with Chipotle Ranch Dressing
Mexican Quinoa Salad w/chipotle Ranch Dressing
Servings
Servings
Mexican Quinoa Salad w/chipotle Ranch Dressing