Southwest Quinoa Buddha Bowl

This is a simple quinoa-based Buddha bowl with a southwest flair. If you’re looking for a lower fat version, just leave out the avocado. I make the homemade salsa for this recipe and then pour on more Mateo’s salsa. I like the flavor as-is, but to make it a little spicy-zingy for myself I add several stripes of Sriracha sauce and mix it all together. The bowl can be served cold but I think it’s way better when it’s warm! Another recipe from The China Study: Quick & Easy Cookbook


Servings: about 4 as a side, or enough to feed 2-3 adults as a main entree

Note: the quinoa can be replaced with brown rice or other whole grain, and you can use whatever salsa recipe you like best 

  • 3 cups water
  • 1½ quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 15-oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed (pinto would go well too)
  • 1 ripe avocado, cubed
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

For the salsa:

  • 1 10-oz. package frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 large ripe tomato (or equivalent of cherry/grape tomatoes), diced
  • ½ medium red onion, diced small
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • ½ tbs. balsamic vinegar (or omit and add several drops of lime juice, the balsamic can have a strong flavor that I’m not sure I like)
  • 2 tbs. chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • sea salt to taste


Bring the water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the quinoa and salt. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a medium heat. Cook the quinoa, covered, for about 15 minutes or until “unspiraled” and tender. 

While the quinoa cooks, combine all of the salsa ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Set aside.

You can add the black beans to the quinoa and mix it together to heat the beans up, but this will muddy your quinoa and make it dark. If you don’t care, this is the easiest way. If you want to keep your quinoa and bowl “pretty,” heat the black beans up separately in the microwave. 

Spoon the quinoa into bowls (then add the black beans if heated separately), then dump the salsa, avocado, and cilantro on top. 

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