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Over the last year or so, I have found that when I want to eat something that will satisfy and be fast on prep time, I am turning to quinoa salad frequently. I think the beauty of this salad is that there are no rules. And well…I have been one not to follow rules that strictly so maybe that may have something to do with it.
You can really add just about anything to a quinoa salad and it will taste amazing. The protein that the quinoa gives you will end the hunger and the veggies and fruits and seeds or nuts you add will give you the flavours that you are craving at the time.
So I really wanted to post a recipe for the quinoa salad over the last few days but since my cravings change and what I have in the fridge changes, I seem to make it different almost every time. Having said that, I thought I would give a basic super fast one I did just last night and give you some alternatives that will change the feeling of the salad for whatever you are feeling that day or for whatever you have in at your disposal.
Typically I cook a cup of quinoa. I love the tri colour. I know there is not a noticeable difference in taste between them all but I like the look of it. Last night I only had the black quinoa so that is what is in the picture. I think what I will do is update this recipe with varying pics as I make this salad during the summer season and give you a visual as to what the variations look like.
So cook one cup of quinoa. And the only way that seems to work flawlessly for me is to bring to a boil 2 cups of water. Pour in the one cup of quinoa and then close the lid. Turn the burner down to low and put the timer on for 13 minutes. Don’t lift the lid until the 13 minutes is up and check it. There shouldn’t be any water left so use a fork to fluff it up. Let it cool down.
Now, while your 13 minutes is ticking away, you can prep the veggies and fruits that are going into the salad.
Last night’s salad consisted of…
2 carrots peeled and sliced
2 stalks of celery sliced
half a red pepper diced
2 stalks of green onion diced
cherry tomatoes halfed (use as many as you like)
half a dozen strawberries, quartered
half avacodo – diced
about 2 cups of mixed greens (baby kale, arugula, baby spinach)
half cup of raisins
half cup of sunflower seeds
Put all the above ingredients in a large bowl and mix them up. Then, make your salad dressing.
My dressing does change too sometimes, but pretty consistent on the following ingredients.
quarter cup of olive oil
half cup lemon juice
teaspoon of dijon mustard
one clove of garlic- minced
shake of salt
Put these in a small mason jar or any lidded container and shake it up. Pour onto veggies and coat them all.
Once the quinoa is cooled off (which to be honest, I have put in the fridge to cool off faster depending on how hungry I was or how fast I needed it ) mix in the quinoa too. Then I squeeze the juice of on lime onto the salad and mix again.
If you are a cheese eater, feta can be added or a cheese substitute could be used although I haven’t tried it yet.
So last night’s salad was delish and refreshing. I felt full and satisfied, but leaves you without the crappy bloated feeling.
Like I said, this time I just went with whatever I had in stock at home, but I have added mango (personal fave), almonds, yellow and green peppers, craisins, pumpkin seeds, heirloom carrots (they bring an awesome colour to the salad), heirloom tomatoes (same as the carrots, colour is amazing), purple onion, and blackberries.
As the summer goes and I make more of these, I will post the pics and what was in them. The base of the recipe is always the same. The rest is up to you! Let me know what you have added to yours, I would love to have some new ideas!