13 years ago I was hired as a nanny for a family with 3 little boys. The oldest son of that family was autistic–a discovery that led their mother to do copious amounts of research about how the things we eat and the way those things are grown can potentially harm our bodies. I was able to learn alongside of her, and it forever changed my view of food and the way that I eat. 13 years ago was the first time I went out of my way to purchase something “organic” – and I have been learning and changing my shopping and eating habits ever since.
In Louisiana it was a tough road. There were not a lot of organic options available to me in our local stores. I often times made a 2-hour trek to a well-known organic grocer with an ice chest in my car to stock up on the items that really mattered to me. Not long after, Walmart started carrying organic milk and a small selection of organic produce – which made a world of difference. But still, eating this way was so expensive.
Then I moved here to Southern California and the vast array of available organic products in almost every store made it much easier for me to make healthy choices for my family. But what it didn’t do was make it more affordable. Making the choice to eat organic foods was no longer one that was as time consuming, but it certainly did consume most of my paycheck!
Which is why, when I heard firsthand that Walmart would soon be carrying up to 100 new organic products in their stores, I danced with joy. The new product line is called ‘Wild Oats’ and you can see it in stores now – there should be around 50 products in your local store now, but the hope is to get it up to around 100 by September. The range of products is expansive, including pasta sauce, olive oil, quinoa, and seasonings.
In celebration of this fabulous new line, I thought I’d share with you a delicious Southwestern Quinoa Salad recipe* with an avocado vinaigrette dressing. This is a great salad that can be served as an appetizer, side dish, or an entire meal! It is perfect for summer!
Here’s what you’ll need:
For the Quinoa Salad:
2 cups of Wild Oats Traditional Quinoa
1 can of Wild Oats Organic Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of Sam’s Choice Organic Sweet Corn, drained
1 cup of organic grape tomatoes, halved
2 cups of organic vegetable broth
1 jalapeño, diced, with seeds and membranes removed
1/4 cup of chopped organic green onion
1 tsp Wild Oats Organic Cumin
For the Creamy Avocado Vinaigrette:
1 avocado, pitted
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
The juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp of Wild Oats Organic Olive Oil
1. Rinse the quinoa until the water runs clear, then combine the quinoa and vegetable broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes, or until all of the liquid is absorbed and the germ of the quinoa is exposed.
2. While the quinoa is cooking, combine the black beans, corn, tomatoes, diced jalapeño, green onions, and cumin in a large bowl. Stir well.
3. In a small bowl, combine the avocado, vinegar, honey, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, lime juice, olive oil, and garlic. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth.
4. Stir cooked quinoa into the black bean mixture until combined. Add avocado dressing and stir again. Serve warm or chilled.
I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as my family did!
For more information about Wild Oats, check out this video!
*Adapted from The Realistic Nutritionist