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Vegan Southwest Quinoa Bowls // JustineCelina.com


This is a pretty nerdy confession... but it's really fun for me to try to recreate restaurant dishes I love at home! I enjoy the challenge of figuring out what ingredients were used and attempting to make restaurant-inspired cuisine -- it pushes me out of my comfort zone and I end up combining ingredients I wouldn't usually pair together (like the Creamy Avocado Lime Dressing in this recipe). My Vegan Southwest Quinoa Bowls are inspired by the Viva Bowl at NYC's Local Thyme (where I ate lunch almost every day during my time in Manhattan!) -- but with my own spin, and tons of extra veggies! Did you know that today is National Eat Your Vegetables Day?
Course Main Course
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4


Vegan Southwest Quinoa Bowls

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa (I used a mixture of regular whole grain and red organic quinoa)
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes (I like a variety of colours)
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 2 cobs of corn
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/2 cup whole natural almonds
  • 1 tsp coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • 3 tbsp cilantro
  • 3 tbsp green onion
  • 1 lime (cut into wedges)

Creamy Avocado Lime Dressing

  • 1 large avocado
  • 4 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 shallot or 2 tbsp red onion
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Start by preheating your oven to 400°, and boiling a large pot of water. In the meantime, peel and dice your sweet potato into 1/2" pieces.
  2. Boil 3 cups of water in a medium pot. Once boiling, add the quinoa and prepare it according to the directions on the label.
  3. Husk the corn. Once the water comes to a boil, add corn cobs to one bowl and cook for 10 minutes. Once cooked (corn will become bright yellow), carefully remove from boiling water and set aside to cool.
  4. Scatter the sweet potato pieces on a baking sheet, dressing with a drizzle of olive oil and seasoning with salt and pepper. Once oven comes up to temperature, bake for 15 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Once tender, remove from oven to cool.
  5. Start chopping and slicing all the remaining veggies and adding them to a large salad bowl. Open your canned black beans and add them to the salad bowl.
  6. Chop the cilantro and green onions, adding 3/4 of them to the salad bowl, and reserving 1/4 for garnish. Slice the lime into wedges to serve with extra garnishes.
  7. Warm 1 tsp coconut oil (or olive oil) in a small pan over medium heat. In the meantime, chop almonds. Once oil is heated, add chopped almonds to the pan and toast until lightly browned, turning often to avoid burning. Sprinkle with salt. Remove from heat and reserve for garnish.
  8. After corn is cool, cut the corn kernels off of the cobs into a bowl. Add cooled corn kernels and sweet potatoes to the salad bowl.
  9. Prepare your Creamy Avocado Lime Dressing by adding all ingredients to your Vitamix (or similar) and blend until smooth.
  10. Add the dressing to the salad bowl, and toss until well-integrated. Serve immediately, with extra garnishes on the side.

Recipe Notes

There's plenty of protein in this salad without meat -- but barbecued shrimp skewers or chicken would be a perfect accompaniment to this dish!