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Southwestern Avocado Quinoa Salad with Chipotle Hummus Dressing

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Southwestern Avocado Quinoa Salad with Chipotle Hummus Dressing is a hearty salad full of flavor.  Quinoa, fresh vegetables, black beans, avocado and cilantro are mixed with a Chipotle Hummus Dressing to create the perfect side dish to accompany your summer BBQ or a light lunch throughout the week.

Southwestern Avocado Quinoa Salad with Chipotle Hummus Dressing

Summer and salads go together pretty nicely I think.  When it is hot outside and I am running around like a crazy person trying to fit in all of our summer fun, I like to keep lunch light with salads.

Southwestern Avocado Quinoa Salad with Chipotle Hummus Dressing is packed full of the healthy stuff and is also packing some flavor for those that like a little spice in their salad.  The Chipotle Hummus dressing gives the salad a kick of spice and smokiness, which goes great with the Southwestern ingredients in this salad.

Sabra Hummus Tour

This is the beautiful facility where Sabra Hummus is made. It is so inviting and bright.

Speaking of hummus, I have been wanting to share my recent trip to Richmond, Virginia to visit Sabra Hummus  with you all. Sit back and let me take you on a little ride through the amazing world of hummus.

I first have to say that getting the opportunity to visit Sabra in person and learn from the experts that produce so many great hummus flavors {not to mention those addicting salsas, guacamoles and greek yogurt dips} was a dream.  Since I am half Lebanese, hummus has been at the table since I was a little girl.

Sabra Hummus Tour

My sister and I were recently talking about our childhood and hummus.  When we were little and our Mom would put a bowl of hummus along with a plate of pita on the table and our friends would look at it with blank stares.  But today, today we are lucky that the world around us has slowly embraced hummus.

Did you know that 75% of Americans are aware of what humus is? But only 30% of Americans actually purchase and eat hummus.

Rosemary with Sea-Salt Hummus

Is anyone else excited about this new flavor that is coming out soon? I couldn’t stop eating it.

The trip started by meeting up with my fellow food bloggers for a night getting to know each other and of course eating delicious food.

Sabra Hummus Tour

While in Richmond we got to visit the public relations and marketing team behind Sabra, the head chef and many of the people that are in the factory making all that hummus happen.

I really enjoyed listening to Sabra’s Executive Chef, MaryDawn Wright talk about how she tests products and flavor combinations and where she draws her inspiration and experience from.  We spent the morning taste testing all of the different Sabra hummus flavor, which included the new Rosemary & Sea Salt that is coming out soon and my absolute favorite, Lemon Twist.

Sabra Hummus Tour

After taste testing and learning all about hummus, we did a Chopped style challenge in their beautiful test kitchen.  We were given a Classic Hummus as the base and were challenged to come up with our own unique creation in 10 minutes or less.  The table of herbs, oils, spices and ingredients was out of this world.

Chopped Challenge

I have never been involved in any kind of cooking contest, and I will be honest, I freaked out for a minute.  I am a planner and need time to think through my recipes and creations.  Only having ten minutes to prove my hummus making ability really stressed me out.  In the end it was so much fun and it pushed me out of my comfort zone which was great.

Sabra Hummus Tour

Here is my final creation using pomegranate molasses, candied ginger, preserved Meyer lemons topped with pine nuts, lemon zest, fresh mint and parsley and a dash of za’atar.  It sounds weird but it was seriously delicious.  I love how bold and intense the flavors were and how nicely they mixed together.

The day continued with a factory tour, which I have no pictures of because no cameras are allowed in so they can keep the facility clean and bacteria free.  It was very interesting to hear how they source ingredients from different parts of the world depending on where they can get the best quality.

Chickpeas

A few things I found interesting:

  • Sabra began making hummus in a small kitchen in New York in the mid-1980s, starting with the simple mission of bringing the healthy and delicious cuisine of the Mediterranean to people’s every diets {this makes my heart happy}.
  • Nine of 10 Americans don’t eat enough vegetables each day, include nutrient-rich beans.  BUT…one easy way to add more vegetables is to eat two heaping spoonfuls of Sabra hummus a day. Easy peasy.
  • Chickpeas {the bean that makes hummus} is nutrient dense and contributes a healthy amount of plant protein, along with fiber, iron and B vitamins.
  • Sabra hummus is vegetarian and gluten-free for those that have common food allergies.
  • Sabra currently has 13 varieties of hummus, 6 Greek yogurt dips {try these if you haven’t already!}, 8 salsas and 2 guacamoles.
  • Sabra is the #1 national brand of hummus and has over 64% of the market share.

Hummus is versatile.  You can use it as a substitute for things like butter, mayonnaise and cheese. In today’s recipe I used it as the dressing for the salad.  You can spread it on an appetizer, put it on pizza, use it in pancakes, or chicken salad, or how about lasagna {I know, right!?}.  It is hard to believe that one tub of hummus can have so many different uses. There must be something to that Mediterranean diet. 😉

Southwestern Avocado Quinoa Salad with Chipotle Hummus Dressing

Southwestern Avocado Quinoa Salad with Chipotle Hummus Dressing

Southwestern Avocado Quinoa Salad with Chipotle Hummus Dressing

Yield: 6-8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Southwestern Avocado Quinoa Salad with Chipotle Hummus Dressing is a hearty salad full of flavor. Quinoa, fresh vegetables, black beans, avocado and cilantro are mixed with a Chipotle Hummus Dressing to create the perfect side dish to accompany your summer BBQ or a light lunch throughout the week.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 orange pepper, chopped
  • 5 green onions, green parts chopped
  • 1 - 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 avocado, seed removed, chopped

For the Chipotle Hummus Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup Sabra Chipotle Hummus
  • 2 Tablespoons water {more for a thinner dressing}
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne red pepper
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Rinse the quinoa in a small mesh strainer. Set aside. Cook the quinoa according to the package.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking combine red pepper, orange pepper, green onions, black beans, fresh cilantro and cherry tomatoes together and mix well. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl combine the hummus, water, lime, cayenne red pepper, cumin and a dash of salt and pepper. Whisk until the dressing is combined. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  4. Once the quinoa is cool add to the salad along with the chopped avocado. Pour half of the dressing on the salad and gently stir. Taste and add more dressing to taste.
  5. Garnish with additional fresh cilantro and green onions and enjoy!

Notes

If you plan to have leftovers of this salad I suggest adding the avocado when you are ready to eat the salad so the avocado doesn't go bad.

Additional ideas to add to the salad:
1-15oz can of corn, drained and rinsed or fresh corn off the cob
Chopped green pepper
Chopped red onion

This post was sponsored by Sabra as part of their 2015 Tastemakers Panel.  As always, opinions are 100% my own.  Thanks for supporting the brands that make A Cedar Spoon possible. 

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Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets

Friday 24th of July 2015

What an incredibly cool experience. The salad looks pretty impressive too. I love the colors and the addition of avocado.

Julia

Friday 24th of July 2015

Thanks Meghan! It was a really cool experience. This salad is so bright which I love. Eat the rainbow!

Alexandra Caspero

Wednesday 22nd of July 2015

Sounds like an amazing trip! I grew up in Richmond and I never knew Sabra was in my backyard! Your hummus version looks incredible- I love the idea of adding pomegranate molasses to it- YUM!

Julia

Wednesday 22nd of July 2015

That is fun that you live near Richmond! What a great city to be in. I loved how the river runs through the middle of it and how much outdoor activities there were to do. Not to mention the food scene is pretty great! You are one lucky girl. And yes, I also don't use pomegranate molasses much but it is a hidden gem. Try it out!

Kelley Orthwein

Wednesday 22nd of July 2015

How awesome you got to visit Sabra and I love all the pictures! This salad looks so delicious and I'm loving all the flavors and humus dressing-got to try it!!

Julia

Wednesday 22nd of July 2015

Thanks Kelley! It was a great experience. If you haven't tried dressing made with a hummus you should definitely try it out. It creates a creamy and flavorful dressing, which I love!

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