Fresh and Healthy Quinoa Salad

I’m a HUGE carb gal, so give me a side dish that’s light and healthy, but actually hearty enough to replace a side of rice or potatoes? Big win. This fresh and healthy quinoa salad is a side dish originally made by my lovely sister, but we’ve both reinvented a few times over depending upon what we had in the fridge. That’s the great thing about it — it’s versatile, so you don’t need to make a grocery store run for if you happen to be missing a veggie or two.

I typically cook up at least 2-4 cups of quinoa every Sunday as part of my food prep for the week; it’s a great healthy meal option because it’s easy to serve hot or cold, & it has a ton of protein. Also, this recipe makes a BIG salad, so if you’re just testing it out, you can always start with 1 cup of quinoa and slowly add your veggies in to a ratio you like.

SALAD INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Cups Cooked Quinoa (You could also use couscous!)
  • 1/2 Cup Red Onion, Finely Chopped
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, Chopped
  • 1 Bunch Spinach Leaves, Chopped (Or Kale. Or Arugula. Whatever leafy green you’ve got)
  • 1 Cup Hearts of Palm, Chopped (You can buy whole & chop them)
  • 1 Can Baby Corn, Chopped
  • 1 Ripe Tomato, Diced
  • 1/2 Cup Artichoke Hearts
  • 1/4 Cup Feta Cheese (I also love shredded Parmesan in this)

DRESSING INGREDIENT:

  • 1 Clove Chopped Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Liquid Aminos or Soy Sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste

DIRECTIONS:

  • If you haven’t remade your quinoa, get that started first (just boil 1 cup quinoa with 2 cups water); while quinoa is cooking, chop your veggies.
  • Once quinoa is cool (you may need to refrigerate it while you finish chopping veggies), combine all salad ingredients in large bowl and toss liberally
  • Whisk together all dressing ingredients, and be sure to taste before you add to the salad so you can adjust it to your liking (some people may want to add more acid or oil, salt and pepper, etc.).
    *Note: If you use soy sauce instead of liquid aminos, you may not need salt. If you let the salad sit in the fridge for few hours before serving, you could avoid salt altogether as the salad will marinate and flavors will get stronger the longer it sits!