Quinoa Power Salad Recipe

Yields: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

Quinoa

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or water

Veggies

  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 bell pepper (any color), diced
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 cup baby spinach or kale, roughly chopped (optional)

Protein

  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
  • 1 cup cooked, shredded chicken or grilled tofu (optional)

Add-ins

  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, raisins, or chopped dates
  • 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or slivered almonds

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

1. Cook the quinoa

  • Rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a fine-mesh sieve.
  • Combine quinoa and broth (or water) in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
  • Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and let cool completely.

2. Prep the veggies: While the quinoa cooks, dice the cucumber, bell pepper, onion, and halve the tomatoes.

3. Build your salad base: In a large bowl, combine the cooled quinoa, cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes, onion, and optional greens like spinach or kale.

4. Add in your protein: Toss in the chickpeas, and any of the optional protein choices like feta cheese, grilled chicken, or tofu.

5. Finish with additions: Add in your favorite dried fruit and seeds or nuts.

6. Make the dressing: In a small jar or bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, honey (or maple syrup), salt, and pepper.

7. Dress and serve: Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat evenly. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for later. The flavors will deepen as the salad chills.

Tips And Variations

Change up your protein: Use grilled shrimp, cooked lentils, or skip it altogether for a vegan/vegetarian version.

Mix up your greens: Try arugula, chopped romaine, or a mix of baby greens.

Flavor twists

Mediterranean: Add chopped kalamata olives, roasted red pepper, and use oregano in the dressing instead of honey.

Mexican: Mix in black beans, corn, cilantro, and a drizzle of lime instead of lemon in the dressing.

Asian: Add edamame, shredded carrots, green onions, and a sesame-ginger dressing.

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