Mexican Quinoa Bowl

 Mexican Quinoa Bowl | Pick Fresh Foods

My Mexican Quinoa Bowl is a deliciously healthy meal that is quick and easy to make. It is a flavorful combination of zesty quinoa, black beans, spicy pico de gallo, and creamy avocado. 


There is something about saying words out loud that truly makes them real. Our family is about to go through some big changes. I haven’t wanted to say or admit it, but my husband is retiring from a long military career. 23 years to be exact…most of which we have spent married. We actually met when he was going through pilot training in my hometown. :D

It has been a wonderful life! We have moved many times and have lived in some great places across the country, from California all the way to Virginia. His career has provided us so many opportunities to experience new things and meet lots of friends. It really is bittersweet to see it coming to an end in just a few months.

 Mexican Quinoa Bowl | Pick Fresh Foods

As we look to begin a new chapter in our lives it is full of excitement, nervousness, and of course, stress.

It is exciting because from here on out we get to decide where we live and won’t be asked to move every 3-4 years.

Change always makes me a little nervous. I’m a planner and love to know what is next and we are heading into unfamiliar territory.   


Mexican Quinoa Bowl | Pick Fresh Foods

For months my husband has been trying to figure out what he wants to do next. Searching for jobs, applying, and interviewing…talk about STRESS!!

Anyone know who is hiring highly qualified pilots? :D

For me comfort food always makes stress seem a little less intense. This Mexican Quinoa Bowl is one dish that makes me feel better.


Mexican Quinoa Bowl | Pick Fresh Foods

When I was a kid, my mom would make Spanish rice and beans. My mom makes great comfort food and always knows just what to say when I’m stressed.

So, thinking of her I decided to put my own twist on her comfort food by substituting quinoa for spanish rice.

The quinoa gives this dish a bit more nutritional value. Unlike rice, the quinoa is a complete protein, leaving you with a dish that will make you full and satisfied for hours. 

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Mexican Quinoa Bowl | Pick Fresh Foods


Nutritionally quinoa is a great source of protein. It contains all essential amino acids making it a complete protein food.  

Quinoa is a great option for people who are trying to reduce their meat consumption.

Quinoa is also a good source of fiber and it also provides iron, magnesium, potassium, folate, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins A and E.

  • Iron is important for hemoglobin and red blood cells
  • Magnesium is good for lowering blood pressure
  • Potassium is needed for muscle contraction
  • Calcium is needed for bone strength and nerve impulses
  • Folate protects against megaloblastic anemic is needed for the metabolism of amino acids
  • Phosphorus is needed for bone mineralization and collagen formation



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Mexican Quinoa Bowl
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Serves: 6
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ cup white onion, diced
  • 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 15 oz can reduced sodium black beans
For Toppings
  • 1 large avocado, diced
For Pico de Gallo
  • ½ cup tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ cup white onion, diced
  • 1 small jalapeño, finely diced
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ small lime, juiced
  1. In a large sauce pan heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Sauté quinoa, onion, and garlic until garlic is fragrant.
  3. Slowly add broth and stir.
  4. Add cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir in 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce.
  5. Bring to a low boil, cover and reduce heat to low.
  6. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Add black beans to sauce pan, gently stir to combine.
  8. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
  9. Serve with diced avocado and pico de gallo.



NutritionLabel-Mexican Quinoa Bowl 




  1. That is a big change! I have the greatest respect for military families; I can’t imagine moving and starting over so often. He is fortunate to have you with him, especially since you make healthy comfort food! :) I love Mexican bowls, but I’ve never tried quinoa. With all those flavors, I know it would be love at first bite!

    • Thank you, Mary Frances you are so sweet ! It can be a little crazy moving a lot, but then you before a pro at packing and unpacking. I hope you try this dish it is amazing!

  2. I’ve always wanted to try a mexican quinoa bowl, and this looks like the perfect recipe! Beautiful pictures, too. Pinned!

  3. Such exciting news! How wonderful your husband has been working for the military for 23 years. Hope you enjoy this new chapter!

  4. Quinoa is one of my favourite quick and healthy dishes. I love love love Mexican food and flavours, so this is looking mighty fine to me! And good luck on your new chapter! :)

  5. You’ve got a lot going on lady! I hope your husband finds something that he will enjoy and I wish you all the best on your next move!

    • Haha, yes just a bit :D I too hope he does and fast. He obviously is more stressed than me, but we all feel it. Thanks Shareba :D

  6. This bowl looks so good! I absolutely love all of the flavours going on, particularly the avocado and cilantro. A favourite pairing for me too!

    As far as the stress factor, just keep taking deep breaths. ;) I’m sure you’ve weathered many a storm living a military lifestyle. In the meantime, keep treating yourself to great food like this dish!

    • Thanks Sharon, you are right we’ve kind of been in similar situations and in the end it all works out. It’s the waiting that is always difficult. I just keep eating and work outing out to reduce stress. This kind of food is a miracle worker :D

  7. Wow, that is a big change. I thank him for his service.

    This bowl looks great. Healthy and delicious all in one.

  8. A new chapter in your life is always just as exciting as it is stressful. I wish you both all the best as you try to sort out the “what next”. :) What an exciting career he’s had, and it must’ve wonderful traveling around to new parts of the country! This quinoa bowl looks delicious, Cindy, and is full of flavors and ingredients I love.

    • It has been great. We’ve been in 5 different states and several places outside the USA. All the moves really give you a good taste of different cultures and communities. One of the great benefits is experiencing all types of foods. It’s made me more open to trying new things. Thanks Marcie :D

  9. Well wishes to your family with the upcoming change! How exciting. :) I’m always on the look out for new quinoa recipes, and this one looks so fresh and healthy! Love cooking quinoa in chicken broth, too. Pinning!

  10. Wow, Cindy, I thought my life was unsettled at the moment but you have had to move so so many times! I totally understand how much stress you must be going through without any certainty yet about how things are going to turn out and wish you all the best. You’re right though that one thing you can do is to make sure you eat lovely healthy food like this. This quinoa dish sounds so lovely and fresh!

    • Haha :D Thanks, Helen, I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about. We are hoping to be able to stay in here for a few more years, so we don’t have to deal with the house hunting, packing, unpacking, etc.

  11. spicedblog says:

    Cindy, I can totally identify with you here…I am a planner to the utmost degree! (There’s something about a list that makes me happy…well marking it off the list…I bet you know what I mean!) It’s funny where life takes you, but sit back and enjoy the ride. I never ever thought I would be living way up north in upstate New York (I’m a Southern boy!), but it’s a pretty cool area of the country. In other news, this quinoa dish looks amazing. Nice work!

    • Where did you move from? I’m originally from Texas, but have been to 5 other states. All are a different experiences. Thankfully, we are pretty open minded and ready for new adventures. I just want to know what to plan for!! Haha

      • spicedblog says:

        I’m originally from Texas, too! But I grew up in the Carolinas (both SC and NC) before moving to Louisiana and then Georgia after college. So pretty much all over the Southeast! :-)

      • Wow, you’ve moved a lot too :D I those at some great places. No wonder you make such a great variety of foods :D

  12. Sounds delish! I love substituting quinoa and other healthier grains for rice, it tastes almost the same but has so much more nutrition!

  13. I love quinoa and Mexican food so this recipe looks perfect for me.

  14. yum! looks deliciously light & bright Cindy, a great spin on quinoa!

  15. What an exciting change for you and your husband Cindy! You both must have got married young because you don’t look like you could have been married for around 23 years!!! I LOVE these quinoa bowls! They look so fresh and nutritious!!

    • Renee, I like you!! You are too sweet :D. We’ve been married 17 and have known each other for just about 21 yrs. Wow, I just made myself feel really old. Lol

  16. What a new and exciting adventure you are about to embark on. Although it might be stressful now, I am sure it will be a relief to settle down somewhere. You know I love quinoa and this is a great dish! I definitely need to add this to my weekly quinoa meal soon!

    • Thanks Ashley! I can’t wait for know what’s next. Thankfully I’ve got lots of great friends to keep me calm and reassured that things will work out :D

  17. Wow, big changes going on in your family! I wish your husband (and your whole family) lots of success and happiness in the next chapter. Change can be hard to look forward to at first but things have a way of working out for the better.
    I am a big fan of quinoa so I’d love to load up on this anytime!

    • Thanks Monica! I have to keep remembering that things always work out. It’s having the patience getting there that is hard. Haha

  18. That is such a huge change, I wish you and your husband the best and many more happy years to come!!

  19. Mmmm….I love everything about quinoa. Love the Mexican twist Cindy! Gotta give this a try.
    Have a wonderful Wednesday!

  20. Thinking of you in this stressful time in your life. Hope you find time to relax! And this quinoa looks amazing, Cindy! Mexican food is one of my favorites, and I’m thinking that these bowls would go perfectly with tacos for Mexican dinner night! Pinned.

  21. Hi Cindy :) First off i’ve gotta say girl, i’m a planner too, uncertainty is a killer huh? But I always tell myself, it will all work out…because it always always does! Secondly, the flavors in this is ridiculous. I’m a Mexican and quinoa fanatic!! So clearly this dish is right up my alley! Pinned for later, thanks so much!

  22. How exciting. Change isn’t the easiest thing to deal with, but I’m sure you’ll do great transitioning. Making comfort food will definitely help :). I would love to dive into this bowl of goodness right now!!!

  23. Oh wow! What a big change! My husband isn’t in the military, but his job has allowed us to move around a lot in the last few years, and as much as I enjoy living in new places I am definitely happy to finally feel settled down, at least for now. Job searching and interviews are definitely stressful tings, good luck to him and your family :) I love a good Mexican quinoa salad!! I just made some quinoa and black bean enchiladas the other night and your pico de gallo would have made them taste so much better!

    • Thanks Izzy! What industry does your husband work in? The not moving is going to be strange, but we are definitely excited about the possibilities.
      Black bean enchiladas sound great. Now I’m hungry :D

      • He works for the Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service, so he is never forced to re-locate for a job, but if he wants to, there are lots of options. We have gotten to live in some beautiful areas, but we just bought a house in Arizona, so hopefully we will be here for a while!

      • Oh, that sounds awesome. A friend got a job last year working with them in Utah. He loves it. I hope you stay there a while too. You’ve got that awesome yard and garden…I’d hate to leave that :D

  24. That is one big change but change can also be a good thing and mean new experiences. I’m sure things will work out great. This bowl of quinoa is perfect. I made something very similar and just love the addition of Pico de Gallo. Yum

    • I sure hope so Kathy :D Thankfully, this life has made us very open-minded to new experiences. I just want to know now what’s ahead. Haha
      I love this quinoa. Is yours on your site? I’d head over to check :D

  25. Good luck with all the changes!! It’s an exciting time but stressful : ) My husband was in the military for about 10 years and transitioned out a few years ago … it was a big change and so stressful but it all worked out! And this bowl looks awesome!

    • Ah, so you know exactly what I’m talking about. I’m so happy to hear that everything worked out for you :D We have lots of friend that get out and then can’t find a job they want to be in. They end up changing jobs 3-4 times! I don’t want that at all. I really hope he finds one job, loves it and stays there. Searching and interviewing is too stressful. Haha

  26. This must be the time where you get excited and stressed all at the same time but it is definitely an adventurous time for you and your husband! :) It must have also been awesome to explore different places and learn about their cultures and lifestyle! This quinoa salad is calling my name! I LOVE the Mexican touch that you have given it! Yummm!

    • We feel very lucky to have had this opportunity. We know so many people that never leave their hometown. It’s been really great. Now the crazy part begins. My husband stops working very soon and realizing that really made me nervous. Haha

  27. It defintiely sounds like a pretty stressful (but exciting!) time. I’m sure it will all work out and I’m excited to see where life takes you! I love Mexican flavors and they never fail to calm me down. What a great salad bowl!

    • Thanks Joanne :D I’m excited too, but hope we don’t have to move right away. We are going on two years in our current house. I feel like I just unpacked. Haha

  28. Oof. I can’t imagine moving every 3-4 years. Quite a big change. Good luck in the future!
    Also, this quinoa bowl looks to die for.

    • Haha Cathleen, it can be crazy! The hard part is re-settling and getting back into a groove.
      I love this quinoa. My husband keeps looking for more :D

  29. Cindy, this is going to be a nice and exciting new chapter in your life with your husband! I wish you the best of luck and make it a different kind of adventure… maybe not move so much, hehe.
    Loving this quinoa creation mixed with a little bit of the mexican taste!

    • Thanks Gloria. I’m nervous about the not moving. You really do get use to to and get antsy to change. Thankfully, we have a great home in a wonderful neighborhood. It’s just weird to thinking of being truly wetted. Weird, right?

  30. This looks delicious! I love quinoa and this combination I have to try!
    I wish you all the best in future! I know moving a lot is hard but all those new experiences really enrich your life in more than one way! 6 months ago I came from Europe to US and before that I moved 5 times, in 2 years I’m moving again! And I love it! So, I know how you feel. Good luck!

    • It is really delicious! Let me know if you give it a try :D
      Thank you for your well wishes. You definitely win in the number of moves in the shortest period of time. Haha You are so right, it does enrich your life. It doesn’t always feel like it, but in hindsight it does. I think it makes you stronger and more adaptable. Both great qualities, right? :D

  31. Cindy, best wishes as you and your family adapt to this new phase in your lives. As others have said, it sounds like it will be an exciting and adventurous new chapter. And how wonderful that you have the opportunity to stay in a community for longer than the usual 3-4 years; I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to move that frequently (moving is on my top ten list of things I avoid like the plague!).

    This Mexican quinoa bowl looks delicious. My husband and I have been trying to eat more meatless meals, and I have a feeling this would fit the bill, especially because its so hearty and filling.

    • You are funny Jamie :D The new places are great, but the packing/unpacking part of moving is never fun. It’s also bizarre to see you whole house contents in one giant truck. We always cross our fingers everything makes it safe and sound. Sadly, we always end up with damaged furniture, broken items, and sometimes things never show up. I won’t miss that at all!
      This is a great meatless meal. I love how quick meatless meals are to put together. They make great busy night meals!

  32. Good luck with all the changes Cindy! I can imagine how exciting but stressful it must be at the same time – wishing you all a smooth transition and I am sure it will be a relief once you are all settled down:)This is a such a great dish! I am a big fan of quinoa so I’d love a bowl of this any time – it looks incredible!

    • Thanks Kelly! This is one of those situations where you know it is coming, but when you get there you freak out. Okay, I freak out :D I think I was living in denial up until now. I know it will all work out and hope it’s something good :D

  33. Love quinoa and mexican food so this is definitely calling out to me!
    Wow, congrats to your husband and a HUGE thank you to you both for serving our country. My dad went to Westpoint and then the army. He would have loved to do it longer but wanted to plant roots when he started a family. While this is certainly a change, I’m excited for you to see what your next chapters will be…so many possibilities. :)

    • Thank you Tina :D Wow, Westpoint and Army…thank him for his service :D My husband was planning on getting out back in 2001 when our kids were very young, but 9/11 changed that and the airline industry. So, I guess you can say this change has been a long time coming. Everyday, I wait to hear the possibilities :D

      • Zia ul Usman says:

        Hi i am new student of Food Preparation And Culinary Art…
        Would you like to help me to make some different dishes..


  1. […] the kids out for summer break we seem busier then before. I mentioned before that my husband is retiring soon. He has been at the Air Force Academy for two years where he has taught Academy students how […]

  2. […] Mexican Quinoa Bowl  from Pick Fresh Foods […]

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