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Quinoa “Taco” Salad has all the flavor and protein of a regular taco salad, but is so much healthier. It tastes clean and rich with flavor. This version uses a mixture of baby spinach and cilantro as a substitute for iceberg lettuce, a common taco salad ingredient. Instead of corn tortilla chips, you have the nutty flavor and slightly crunchy texture of quinoa.
Cook the quinoa according to package instructions.
Meanwhile, swirl a bit of olive oil in a saute pan. Heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and saute for 3-5 minutes, until translucent and tender. Add garlic, cumin, oregano, chili powder, cayenne and peppers and saute for an additional 2 minutes.
Remove from heat. Stir in the black beans, tomatoes, and the juice of 1 lime. Stir in the quinoa. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill.
Roughly cut baby spinach into strips like you would shred iceberg lettuce for tacos. Remove about 1 cup of cilantro leaves from the bunch, rinse and pat dry, and toss with the spinach. Divide spinach and cilantro mixture evenly among 4 salad plates. Top each plate with a scoop of the quinoa salad. Top each salad with your choice of cheese and diced avocado. Cut the remaining lime into slices to garnish the plates.