Simple, clean, busting at the seams with flavor, and offering up a kick of nutrients in an easy and convenient way. This colorful salad fits the bill on all accounts and I just can’t seem to get enough of it lately.
The powerhouse ingredient in this salad is most definitely the quinoa. Quinoa is a grain that has risen to popularity (and availability) in the past few years…and for good reason. This bizarre (and it is weird looking) little grain holds a ton of protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, and a whole bunch of other good-for-you goodies. It has a slightly nutty flavor and is a great substitute for rice and even pasta! Some people who have a difficult time with grains agreeing with them find quinoa to be kinder on their gut. Its has become a pantry staple in our house and we eat quinoa in a variety of ways weekly.
This salad is a fun tasty way to introduce quinoa into your life. If quinoa and you are old friends, this veggie-packed recipe might just be a new and exciting way to enjoy your old pal. Winter, fall, summer, or spring, this salad is made with ingredients you can find year-round at your local grocery store (and often organic, to boot) so that it can be enjoyed any time of the year.
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed (I used red quinoa)
- 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 large carrots, grated
- In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, stir in the quinoa, cover saucepan with a lid, and reduce heat to low for about 15 minutes or until water has been absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy. Remove quinoa from heat and allow it to cool for 30 minutes to a half hour NOTE: Quinoa can be prepared a day or two ahead of time and stored in fridge until you are ready to prepare the rest of the salad.
- Meanwhile, combine remaining salad ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir to blend the vegetables together. Add cooled quinoa to the bowl and stir again until vegetables are evenly distributed throughout the quinoa.
For Greek Dressing:
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until well combined.
- Drizzle dressing to taste over quinoa salad, stir to evenly distribute dressing, and enjoy. Store leftover Greek dressing in fridge for up to a week. Store leftover salad with dressing in fridge for 2-3 days.
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