Quinoa Taco Salad Bowl


Let me tell you, I have big goals for the coming week. 

If you promise not to let it intimidate you, I’ll share them with you.

They start off something like this:

  1. Stop eating ice cream for lunch
  2. Do something for exercise
  3. Try to complain about my aches and pains less  (Hubby, if you happen to read this please don’t think this applies to you. You are in for the duration for the complaining.)

I was doing so good a couple of weeks ago with my eating and then everything fell apart.

I’m not sure where things went wrong, but in the last week I’ve done things I never do.  Like the ice cream for lunch thing.

I don’t even like ice cream that much.  In fact, I routinely take the boys for ice cream and don’t get any myself.    Not because I deprive myself (I don’t do deprivation) but just because it isn’t my thing.  I’m pretty sure I’ve gone years of my life without having ice cream a single time and I didn’t miss it.

I  feel like I’m on the proverbial freight train headed towards a pregnancy that results in a 40 pound weight gain and over a year trying to get it off.  The bad devil on one shoulder tells me not to worry about it.  I’m 41, this is absolutely the last time I’ll go through this.  Enjoy it.

Then there is that darn good guy on the other shoulder reminding me that it didn’t take me JUST a year to get the weight off the first time.  It was actually closer to 6 years.  Oh, and I still had five extra pounds from my, um, 6 year old when I got pregnant this time.

It kind of makes me mad because I am eating infinitely healthier that I did with either of my prior pregnancies.  (Not including the last week. The last week doesn’t count.  That was temporary insanity.  Pregnancy rules.)

I guess someone forgot to warn me that the whole “you gain weight easier after 40” applies doubly when pregnant.

What’s a girl to do?  Well, I’m going start with flavor packed salads for lunch like this Quinoa Taco Salad Bowl.

I made the tortilla bowls with these cute little molds that I caught on sale (they look like THESE).   I baked them with no added oil for at 375 for 10 minutes.

Obviously most of you don’t have a food blog nor a ridiculous obsession with kitchen gadgets,  so there is no need to run out and pick up molds.  Here is a great tutorial for you. I don’t use the microwave, so I’d heat the tortillas in a pan instead of that but otherwise I think it is spot on!

Quinoa Taco Salad Bowl

Rating: 51

Yield: 6 servings

Calories per serving: 267 (not including additional toppings or bowl)

Fat per serving: 10.1g

Quinoa Taco Salad Bowl


  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons taco seasoning
  • ½ - 1 chipotle chili pepper in adobo sauce, chopped fine
  • ½ cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 cups cooked pinto beans (about 1 can)
  • 1 ½ cups frozen corn, thawed
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 6 cups romaine lettuce
  • ½ cup grated Cheddar of Daiya
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 cup salsa
  • For serving: tortilla chips OR tortilla bowl, sour cream/Greek Yogurt


  1. Spray a medium skillet well with olive oil spray. Add chopped onion and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until tender. Add garlic, taco seasoning, chipotle chili and quinoa. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce to low and cook for 30 to 35 minutes.
  2. Stir in lime juice, pinto beans, corn and cilantro. Cover and let sit off the heat for 5 minutes. Fluff.
  3. Fill bowls (either regular or tortilla bowls) with romaine lettuce. Top with quinoa mixture, cheese, avocado and salsa. Serve with tortilla chips and sour cream or Greek Yogurt.


Servings 6, Calories 267 (not including chips/bowl/sour cream), Fat 10.1g, Carbohydrates 36.1g, Protein 11.5g, Cholesterol 10mg, Sodium 657mg, Fiber 8.9g, Sugars 4.9g, WW Points 7


  • Sonnet

    These look amazing! I definitely need some new lunch inspiration myself and these look perfect. I love how you baked the tortillas in those molds. I will have to make this for this week! Thanks for sharing, always love your blog & creative recipes! :)
    My recent post Baking Soda & Vinegar Hair Care (Update)

    • Wendy Polisi

      Thanks so much Sonnet!

  • Wendy McA

    Yum! Thanks so much . . . I will have to depart from my "usual" as I have fallen into a lunch rut. Healthy, but still. Variety is the spice of life and also it seems the foundation of health. These look delish! As for ice cream, gaining weight, etc. I'm weighing in with the "voice" that says this too shall pass, and enjoy every moment. (Especially as you have a basic foundation in healthy eating . . .) Only you know which voice to listen to and when! Thanks again. My lunch and/or dinner just kicked up a notch again.

    • Wendy Polisi

      I kind of have come to the same conclusion Wendy! I know I'll get back on track after baby is born and right now these cravings are do darn funny. Hope you enjoy this one! XO

  • Ayesha

    Wendy, this looks great! However, I would be more interested in your Quinoa Fit cookbook (and your healthy quinoa recipes in general) if you provided serving sizes. I often cook for just one or two, and use the leftovers as lunch over the next couple days, so it's not exactly practical for me to divide my food into the number of servings specified by the recipe to know the serving size. Just a suggestion!

    • Wendy Polisi

      Thanks for the suggestion Ayesha. I'll consider it for future books.

  • susan

    please, how do I print ONLY the recipe & NOT pages of gaining weight, family,etc…don't mean to be rude!!!

  • jmd

    I saw this recipe yesterday morning and made it last night…big hit with the hubby. It was really delicious! Thanks.

    • Wendy Polisi

      So glad you enjoyed it!

  • Sandi

    my 9-year-old has decided to go vegetarian, and I have been struggling to find recipes that are nutrition-packed, yhat she will like, and that I think might have a chance with the rest of the family too…I think I just found one! I'm excited to try this!

    • Wendy Polisi

      Yeah! I hope everyone enjoys! My boys (7 & 8) are vegetarian so let me know if I can help.

  • Wendy Polisi

    Hope you enjoy!