Mexican-inspired Quinoa

This is my go-to healthy vegan meal prep main dish. Packed with protein and tons of flavour, it's a pleaser for both vegans and meat-eaters alike. I have depended on this dish to get through university midterms, finals, and any emotional rough-patches because it is a quick, filling meal with healthy fats (good for your brain!) so I can feel full even though I don't have time to prepare anything complicated. 

It is inspired by Damn Delicious's One Pan Mexican Quinoa, which was the recipe that introduced me to cooking with quinoa. I have since adapted it and made it to suite my own needs. I hope you enjoy!

Yeilds 3-5 servings, takes 35-40 minutes


  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 3 gloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can corn niblets
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, or 4-5 diced fresh tomatoes 
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Ground black pepper and pink Himalayan salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp red child flakes
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Handful cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • 1-2 avocados, cubed


  1. I recommend prepping all ingredients before you start cooking. This makes the entire process smooth and efficient, and you're not left scrambling around the kitchen trying to find the right spice while you burn the garlic (sound familiar?). 
  2. Pour avocado oil into the pot and let it heat up for ~30 seconds on medium heat. 
  3. Add garlic, stir until softened and fragrant. 
  4. Add quinoa, water, corn, tomatoes, black beans, and spices. 
  5. Raise heat to high, stir, and bring to a boil. 
  6. Once at a boil, reduce heat, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes - lifting the lid occasionally to stir/fluff the quinoa - until quinoa is fully cooked (you know it is cooked when each piece has a little ring around the edge that has fallen off and is soft the whole way through)
  7. Remove from heat, add avocado, lime juice, and cilantro. 
  8. Serve immediately, or keep in the fridge as meal prep for about 5 days. I like to add an entire avocado into each serving if I am using the dish as meal prep, as opposed to putting the avocado in right away and storing it, but this is optional.