Guest Post with Bake Your Day

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Hi friends!! Greetings from GORGEOUS Monterey, California. Guys? I don’t think I’m ever leaving. This town is incredible. So beautiful, so peaceful and so relaxing.

Plus, the strawberries? I’ll happily stay for those. I’ll happily live on the side of the road stuffing my face with this plump, incredibly fresh and delicious berries. But, alas, I’m running late, as always and don’t have time to go into full detail about my trip. All I know is, El? I’m not coming home.

I want to thank Cassie for guest posting for me! Cassie is one of my favorite bloggers in the entire world. She’s an incredible, incredible photographer, she’s so passionate about what she does, she’s always there to help you out, whether it’s a simple retweet or a kind word of advice, she’s become one of my rocks and go to people in this crazy world. So Cassie? Love ya!

Hi friends! I am Cassie from Bake Your Day and I can’t even tell you how happy I am to be posting for Claire today. I have been reading, and loving, Claire’s blog for a while now. I truly look to her as a friend so I was thrilled when she asked me to post! So while she is having a blast in sunny California, we are going to be here talking about food. Fair trade, right?

I know she likes to keep things healthy and while I love cookies, I also aim to consume a healthy, whole diet…most of the time, anyway!

So I got to brainstorming and decided that quinoa was the perfect route. It is a staple in my house, and to tell you the truth, I don’t even buy rice anymore, and rarely cook pasta, because I have replaced both with quinoa. It is so versatile. Not only is it gluten-free, full of fiber and loaded with lots of vitamins and minerals, but it’s packed with protein.  Quinoa is considered a complete protein because it contains all proteins that our bodies do not produce, so we rely on food sources to provide them to us.  <End biology lesson for the day.>

This salad is so quick and simple, and packed with flavor.  And I’m not sure about you, but I can’t seem to get enough avocados recently.  I have been eating them in every which way possible and they appear here, in the form of a creamy dressing.  And the best part is that I didn’t add any mayo, sour cream, etc. and still achieved a creamy and flavorful dressing.  This salad was good warm but it was really best after it sat in the fridge for a few hours.  Either way, I think you will enjoy all of the flavors and textures that are going on.

Mexican Quinoa Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing Salad Recipe

Yield: 6 servings as a side; 4 servings as a main dish
Time: 25 minutes


For the salad:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups homemade vegetable broth
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can sweet corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds and membrane removed, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika

For the avocado dressing:

  • 1 avocado, pitted
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil


  1. For the salad, combine the quinoa and vegetable broth in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed and the germ of the quinoa is exposed. Remove from heat.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, combine the black beans, corn, tomatoes, green onions, jalapeno, cilantro, cumin and paprika in a large bowl.
  3. Prepare the dressing by combining all of the dressing ingredients (everything except the olive oil) in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine and then scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn on the processor and then slowly stream the olive oil through the top opening, continuing to process until the dressing is combined.
  4. Add the quinoa to the black bean/corn mixture and toss to combine. Pour the dressing over the mixture. Serve warm or chilled. Top with additional cilantro if desired.

Enjoy!! Thanks again Cassie!

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  1. Posted by Cassie Laemmli on
    Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
    You are so sweet, Claire, you made me blush! Thank you so much for having me! xoxo
  2. Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
    What a fabulous guest post and recipe from Cassie! This salad look so wholesome and healthy. Love the colors and the flavors, too!
  3. Posted by Katie {Epicurean Mom} on
    Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
    Ohhhh, I love monterey!  Sp peaceful and beautiful! And I must agree, Cassie is my fave too! Love this quinoa salad, so healthy and tasty! 
  4. Posted by amy donovan on
    Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
    quinoa is one of my favorite things + this salad from cassie looks absolutely wonderful! hope you're enjoying California!
  5. Posted by Lizzy Do on
    Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
    Oh, Monterey sounds fabulous! Enjoy!!!

    Cassie, what a marvelous salad...I'm a quinoa lover, too :)
  6. Posted by Jackie Dodd on
    Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
    Claire, Cassie AND Quinoa?? Best. Post. Ever.
  7. Posted by Ryan on
    Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
    Looks great Cassie! Hope you're having fun in CA Claire!
  8. Posted by Jennifer | Mother Thyme on
    Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
    What a lovely guest post from Cassie!  This quinoa looks amazing and that avocado dressing is right up my alley!  :)  Thanks for sharing!  
  9. Posted by Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. on
    Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
    Hope you're having a great time, Claire! Great to see Cassie here! This salad has everything I love!
  10. Posted by Kim - Liv Life on
    Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
    What a fantastic recipe!!  And yes... Cassie is a spectacular photographer, I always love her photos.
    We are on a bit of a quinoa obsession as well... mixing it with avocado is always a treat!  This one is a keeper for sure!
  11. Posted by Erin on
    Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
    Cassie - you know I am all over this one!  Anything with avocado I want!!  Great job on the guest post.
    Claire - Hope you are having a great trip, but please come back :)
  12. Posted by Laura (Tutti Dolci) on
    Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
    What a great guest post! This quinoa salad is my kind of meal!
  13. Thursday, May 17th, 2012
    I love quinoa dishes, and this one looks like it's packed full of flavors. Thanks for the recipe, Cassie! :)
  14. Posted by Kelly on
    Thursday, May 17th, 2012
    Fabulous guest post ladies, this looks amazing! :)
  15. Posted by RavieNomNoms on
    Thursday, May 17th, 2012
    So amazing! Great post!
  16. Posted by Bianca Garcia on
    Thursday, May 17th, 2012
    I think my favorite part about this recipe is the creamy avocado dressing :) Great guest post. And beautiful picture of Monterey, CA!
  17. Posted by Charissa on
    Thursday, May 17th, 2012
    Wow, yah...I can see why you don't want to leave. Beautiful! Wish I was there right now, haha! :)
  18. Posted by Nami on
    Thursday, May 17th, 2012
    You are in Monterey!  That's my family's favorite place including Carmel and Pacific Grove (good restaurants/beach/aquarium/winery).  If you are in Carmel, try Cantinetta Luca.  It's my favorite Italian place!  

    Cassie, great guest post!  I love your qunioa salad in Mexican flavor!
  19. Posted by LisaG on
    Friday, May 18th, 2012
    I missed the dressing directions- would I just blend it all together? Looks wonderful, thanks!!
  20. Posted by Peggy Garbe on
    Saturday, May 19th, 2012
    This sounds so good Cassie!  I love the avocado as a mayo substitute!
  21. Posted by Jennifer S. on
    Thursday, May 24th, 2012
    Aww. i hope you had a good time in Monterey. I grew up there and still visit occasionally.  Used to have birthday dinners at this El Torrito. Just stumbled on your facebook page. I'm loving all the recipes.
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