A quinoa summer salad that is bright, refreshing, healthy and delicious featuring fresh summer vegetables and quinoa.
Happy birthday Recipe ReDux! The theme for the month of June is Celebrate a ReDuxer! So for ReDux’s birthday month, we were challenged to celebrate each other by picking a fellow ReDuxer and either make one of their recipes or create one of our own inspired by theirs.
The ReDuxer I choose to celebrate is Wendy Polisi. I was first introduced to quinoa approximately 9 years ago by a colleague and good friend during lunch. She made a simple but amazing salad with kale, quinoa, lemon juice, Braggs amino acid and freshly ground black pepper. It was so delicious that it motivated me to start experimenting with quinoa.
At that time, I was about 2 years into eating a healthy plant-based diet and reducing the amounts of carbs I was consuming, when I stumbled upon Wendy’s blog. Quinoa was not as widespread as it is today and Wendy was one of a few bloggers who were creating various dishes and baked goodies using quinoa, quinoa pasta and quinoa flour.
I’ve been following Wendy’s blog since then and I was so thrilled to see that she is also a fellow ReDuxer. Wendy’s recipes range from meat dishes to vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free. Wendy has spent so many years putting together her vast collection of quinoa based recipes that there is something on her blog for everyone to enjoy. I hope you get an opportunity to check out her amazing blog, you won’t be disappointed.
My quinoa summer salad is a creation inspired by Wendy’s Summer Veggie Quinoa Bowl. In my salad I utilized some fresh CSA produce such as kale, cucumbers, zucchini and summer squash.
The walnuts were a great addition to the salad and an excellent source of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and fiber. Together with chickpeas they both add extra protein to this already healthy and nutritious dish. The recipes are both full of flavor and delicious. I hope you give them a try.
Here’s how I prepared this beautiful salad. Start by preparing and cooking the quinoa.
In a large bowl add the chick peas, tomatoes and cucumbers. Next heat a medium-sized skillet and lightly cover with coconut oil spray or your favorite cooking spray. Add the onions and cook until fragrant and tender. Next add the zucchini and summer squash and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender but firm. Remove from heat and add to the salad.
Next, add the cooked quinoa, walnuts and the seasoning/ spices and toss well to combine. I’m not a fan of toasted walnuts, but you can certainly toast the walnuts if you prefer.
This salad can be served warm or chilled. Enjoy!
- 3 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 cup garbanzo beans (chick peas) - drained and rinsed
- 2 cups or 3 small tomatoes - chopped
- 1 cup or 1 small cucumber - diced
- 1 small onion- cut in half and sliced into rings
- 2 cups kale - washed, stems removed and chopped into bite sized pieces
- Coconut oil spray
- 2 cloves garlic - finely chopped
- 2 cups or 1 medium zucchini - cubed into bite sized pieces
- 1½ cup or 2 small summer squash - cubed into bite sized pieces
- 1 cup walnuts- roughly chopped (toasted optional)
- 6 tablespoons lemon juice or 2 lemons - squeezed
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- Sea salt - to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper - to taste
- In a large bowl add the chick peas, tomatoes, cucumbers and kale
- Heat a medium- sized skillet and lightly spray with coconut oil spray or your favorite cooking spray
- Add the onions and cook until fragrant and tender
- Add the zucchini and summer squash and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender but firm
- Remove from heat and add to the salad
- Add the cooked quinoa, walnuts and the seasoning/ spices
- Toss well to combine
- This salad can be served warm or chilled.