Veggie Quinoa Salad


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You might have noticed that I’m a newbie quinoa lover. You know, with this being my second quinoa recipe in a row and all. I just can’t help myself! Maybe your familiar with quinoa, maybe you’re not, so let’s start by saying it’s pronounced KEEN-wah, not KEY-noah…which I think would be anyone’s first guess considering the spelling. I may or may not have pronounced it that way myself a time or two.

Veggie Quinoa Salad l Love.Bake.Read

We found quinoa on sale at Aldi for $3.99/lb., which is a heck of deal in comparison to the 7 or 8 bucks it costs elsewhere. Hooray for a good deal! Quinoa is light, super healthy, and packed with protein, fiber, and minerals. Oh, and antioxidants as well. Who would’ve thought?! I usually look to berries for antioxidants, so this was a happy surprise.

Let’s talk about everything I packed into this Veggie Quinoa Salad, shall we? Lots of quinoa, obviously, plus roma tomatoes, bell peppers, shredded carrots, and corn. Spinach AND kale! Green onions, chickpeas, feta, and Kalamata olives. Real deal Kalamata olives—LOVE them. The olives were actually another great find at Aldi.

Veggie Quinoa Salad l Love.Bake.Read

I’m just now coming around to eating fresh tomatoes. I know. I’m still adjusting to the taste a bit, but I love the richness they add. The bell peppers add great crunch while the corn and shredded carrots add additional texture. I forgot the mention that the quinoa kind of pops when you bite it, so that’s fun.

I tossed in spinach and kale because dark leafy greens are good for you, so why not, right? The chickpeas are great for amping up the protein in this dish even more, which is fabulous for non-meat eaters. The real flavor-enhancing ingredients in this salad are the feta, Kalamata olives, and green onions. The feta and the olives add an incredible salty bite whereas the green onions add a mellow onion flavor. Overall, this is just a POWERHOUSE salad—100% good for you!!

Veggie Quinoa Salad l Love.Bake.Read

The dressing for this salad is easy and complements the salad perfectly. You start with the zest and juice of 1 lime, add some canola oil and soy sauce, and then spice it up with chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, and a squeeze of honey to help balance it out. Real deal goodness, I tell you!

This makes a decent amount of salad, so you can share with others, enjoy the leftovers, or scale back the recipe if you’d like. Whatever you do, don’t forget the dressing!

Veggie Quinoa Salad

Yields 8-10 servings

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 6 cups of kale—finely cut with kitchen shears
  • 1 (10 oz.) package of frozen spinach—unthawed
  • 4 carrots—peeled and shredded
  • 1 bell pepper—seeded and diced
  • 1½ cups frozen corn—thawed
  • 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas—drained and rinsed
  • 2 roma tomatoes—diced
  • ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives—sliced into rounds
  • 6 green onions—cut into rounds with kitchen shears
  • 4 oz. feta cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the dressing

  • zest and juice of 1 lime (about ¼ cup juice)
  • 1/8 cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • squeeze of honey
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

For the salad

Cook the quinoa according to package directions.

In the meantime, prepare the greens and veggies.

To a large bowl, add the kale, spinach, shredded carrots, and quinoa, and mix with your hands to combine. Add the bell pepper, corn, and chickpeas and toss to mix. Add the tomatoes, olives, green onions, feta cheese, salt and pepper, and gently toss one more time to combine.

For the dressing

Add all ingredients to a mason jar and shake to combine.

To serve

Add desired amount of salad to a bowl and drizzle with as much or as little dressing as you’d like.

Note

Don’t dress the whole salad at once, or else it’ll become soggy. Store leftover salad and dressing separately in the refrigerator.

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