Have I mentioned how deeply obsessed I am with quinoa? I mean, seriously, there are SO many health benefits to the South American seed (though it's typically referred to as a grain)--including the fact that it's a "complete protein" and contains a ton of nutrients. That's why, when it comes to losing weight, quinoa is by far my go-to food because it tastes great, can replace rice, AND can even be used to make a hearty salad that's as delicious as it is diet-friendly. In fact, I'm SUCH a fan of it that I'm practically falling over myself trying to make these 5 Latin autumn-inspired salads with quinoa--all in the name of weight loss and health (and SUCH great flavor). Trust me, you'll be loving these (and dropping the pounds) soon, too! Try them now.

Read more ¿Qué más? 5 Fall salads with a Latin twist to help you lose weight! (RECIPES)

Coconut Quinoa and Kale with Tropical Pesto 1

Coconut Quinoa and Kale with Tropical Pesto

Image via cookie + kate

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa, rinsed under running water in a fine mesh colander for a couple of minutes
1 cup light coconut milk
1 small bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves chopped (for a total of about 4 cups chopped kale)
1/2 small to medium red onion, chopped
1/3 cup coconut flakes

Get the full recipe directions from Cookie and Kate.

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Quinoa Salad with Butternut Squash, Dried Cranberries & Pepitas 2

Ingredients:
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning squash
2 cups quinoa
4 cups water
Pinch of salt
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup pepitas

Get the full recipe directions from Two Peas in Their Pod.

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Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad 3

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad

Image via Mark Bittman

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa or other small-kernel grain or 1 cup raw
1 large or 2 medium (about 1 pound) sweet potatoes
Salt
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1/4 cup minced red onion or shallot
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic, sherry, or red wine vinegar
1/4 cup minced fresh chives or parsley leaves

Get the full recipe directions from Mark Bittman.

Tex Mex Quinoa Salad with Cilantro, Lime and Apricots 4

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa
1 3/4 cups water
1 cup packed cilantro
1/2 cup raw pepitas
Zest of one lime
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate
1 tsp ground cumin
dash or two of Cayenne pepper (depending on your heat preference)
1/4 tsp salt (or not)
1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 roma tomato, diced small
2 scallions, sliced thinly
1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 avocado, 1/2 inch dice

Get the full recipe directions from Healthy Girl's Kitchen.

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Quinoa, Corn and Tomatillo Salad 5

Quinoa, Corn and Tomatillo Salad

Image via bricolage.108/flickr

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked quinoa (prepare according to package directions), cooled
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots or red onions
2 ears corn, steamed 7 minutes and cut from cobs, cooled
2 medium tomatillos, removed from husks, washed and chopped in 1/4” dice
4 medium-sized ripe heirloom tomatoes, chopped
1 medium ripe avocado, large dice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, lemon balm, arugula, or thai basil

Get the full recipe directions from FullCircle.com.