Hearty Fiesta Quinoa + Chimichurri Street Tacos

Who doesn't love street tacos?! They're fun, flavorful, and festive! Plus, with this fiesta quinoa mixture, they're actually healthy! This recipe is vegetarian, and gluten-free (depending on your street taco tortillas!) 

If you haven't tried chimichurri sauce before, it's the bees knees! It's a traditional sauce from Argentina, commonly used in flavorful and heated steak recipes. I like to add it to this quinoa mixture because it compliments the sweet corn and bright cilantro flavors. Go ahead... try it! 

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For the Hearty Fiesta Quinoa

What You'll Need:

  • 10-12 small round “street taco” sized corn or flour tortillas (or lettuce if you prefer to omit the tortilla)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed and trained
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Poblano pepper, seeds removed
  • ¾ cup whole kernel corn
  • 1 lime
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. sea salt (or more to taste)
  • 1 cup romaine, kale, or spinach to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. EVOO
  • Optional toppings: nonfat plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, cilantro, purple cabbage, or sprinkle of cheese
  • Chimmichurri sauce topping (below)

The Method:

1. Bring 2 1/2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock to a boil in a pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add one cup quinoa and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until liquid is absorbed (about 12 minutes). Quinoa can easily burn—and sometimes it takes a bit longer to cook. If you notice your quinoa burning, add more stock ¼ cup at a time until you reach the desired tenderness of the seed. When it has finished cooking, remove from heat and add quinoa to a large mixing bowl.

2. Wash, rinse, and remove seeds from bell pepper and Poblano pepper. Chop into small, fine pieces. Set aside. Chop onion and mince garlic.

3. Drizzle olive oil into a sautéing pan and turn heat to medium. Add minced garlic, onion, bell pepper, and Poblano pepper and sauté while stirring frequently, about 8 minutes (or until fragrant and soft).  Add in black beans and corn. Finally, add in quinoa. Then, season with lime juice, sea salt, and cumin. Mix using a wooden spoon.

4. Make Chimichurri sauce, if desired.

5. Chop avocadoes on a small cutting board into small (1/4-inch) chunks.

6.Heat tortillas via stovetop or in the microwave. Scoop in fiesta quinoa mixture, drizzle with chimichurri, and add avocado to the top of each taco. Optional: top with cilantro and a scoop of nonfat Greek yogurt!


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Tasty Chimichurri Sauce

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup lightly packed chopped parsley (ideally, flat leaf "Italian" parsley)
  • 1/3 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper chili pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoons dried or fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot or chopped red onion
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

The Method:

In a blender or food processor, combine parsley, cilantro, garlic, salt, pepper, chili flakes, oregano, shallot or onion, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and lemon juice. Pulse for 15 seconds. Taste to test the flavor; add more oil to create a milder sauce, more garlic to jazz up the flavor, or more pepper flakes for heat. Set chimichurri sauce aside—or store in an airtight container for up to four days in the refrigerator.


Tiffany Kent