Fiesta Quinoa Salad–Flavoring with Lemon Instead of Salt

I grew up in a family of salt lovers. We loved salting our meals, salting our cucumbers and tomatoes from the garden, salting our popcorn, we just loved our salt!  I really try to watch my salt intake and the amount of salt I add to dishes I create because still to this day my palate finds that salty taste desirable.

I still enjoy my salty popcorn every once in a while…

popcorn

When Sunkist reached out to me with their “Salternative” campaign I knew it would be a challenge for me, but in a great way!  Many Americans consume way more sodium than the recommended daily amount, and Sunkist challenged me and some other bloggers to each create a recipe that swapped the salt for lemon in an attempt to reduce the sodium content of the dish.  Lemon is the “salternative” to salt!

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Check out this handy chart showing how to reduce the amount of salt used in recipes by using lemon zest and lemon juice instead of table salt:

Salternative Infographic

Brian and I have an extreme love for guacamole and all things Mexican-inspired when it comes to meals, and I had guacamole on the brain when brainstorming for this recipe challenge.

Random Fact:  When I was younger, I was a huge fan of the show Desperate Housewives and I thought Eva Longoria was one of my favorites on the show.  They actually had a Desperate Housewives Cookbook, and Eva Longoria used lemon juice in her guacamole instead of lime juice and that little tidbit just stuck with me! So, when I make my guacamole, I often use lemon juice instead of lime juice for a slightly different tang.

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That being said, I thought I would make my guacamole into a salad by adding quinoa, black beans, and bell pepper.

After experimenting in the kitchen with a little of this and a little of that, Fiesta Quinoa Salad was created.

Fiesta Quinoa Salad via Treble in the Kitchen

The salad is kind of like a deconstructed guacamole with some extra mix-ins.  The added lemon gives the salad a fresh tang and the cumin and chili powder mix together to give the dish a nice warmth that makes it super satisfying.  Brian enjoyed his Fiesta Quinoa Salad with tortilla chips and I enjoyed mine with a spoon…either way, it’s delicious!

Fiesta Quinoa Salad

Yields:  this made about 4 servings for us

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 an avocado, cubed
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Juice of 2 lemons

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Stir gently until combined.
  3. Serve chilled as a main dish or a side dish.  (It’s delicious to scoop up with tortilla chips just like guacamole!)

fiesta quinoa salad via treble in the kitchen

For more information about using lemons instead of salt visit the sunkist website.

Question of the Day:

  • Do you love salt?
  • What foods do you add extra salt to?

Disclosure:  This post is sponsored by Sunkist.

Comments

  1. Yum! This sounds great. Using lemon is such a great idea.

  2. Saving recipe & will be prepping a batch for lunches. Thanks for sharing the recipe & salt chart. Your awesome.

  3. That looks delicious! I tend to use salt like crazy- ironically in sweet foods like oatmeal- I swear it brings out the flavour!

  4. beautiful! i’m ready to get my fiesta on! hehe. Love the lemon uses

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