Prepare healthy and nutritious meals one step at a time

Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Hey guys, I hope you are having a great day so far.  Can you believe that the month of May is almost over and in less than a week Memorial day will be upon us. 

Wow, its scary how fast time is going by.  I’m sure you’re at the point where you are planning your next get together with family and friends to celebrate this special day. 

I know.  I’m there with you and believe me it can be quite overwhelming.  Planning the meal, shopping for the ingredients and then putting it all together, however a little planning ahead can go a long way towards saving your nerves and reducing frustration and conflicts.   Why feel cranky and miserable when you can be having fun. 

That’s where this meal comes in.  It takes 20 min to put it all together.  What’s the catch?  Well just a little planning ahead.  You can make the quinoa ahead of time, maybe a day before and save it in the refrigerator. 

The following day when you are ready to prepare the salad, gather your ingredients together and toss with the quinoa in a large bowl. Whip together your homemade dressing or your favorite store-bought dressing works well too.  Then you are ready to go, or at least it will be one dish completed and out-of-the-way. 

Start by draining a can of chick peas.  A quick diversion here. I actually prefer to soak, cook and store my beans in the freezer until I am ready to use them, as I’m able to control my ingredients versus the canned variety.  I will have a post soon on preparing beans.  Now back to the recipe.

Add chick peas to a large mixing bowl, add mixed vegetables and edamame (I could eat a whole bowl of these soybeans.  They are sooo good). 

Cut and remove the seeds of the tomatoes and dice. Drain and squeeze excess liquid from the artichoke hearts and chop into small pieces.  Chop onions and garlic and add all ingredients to the mixing bowl. 

 Toss ingredients together with the homemade Italian dressing and refrigerate for at least an hour or until its ready to be served.  The longer it marinates, the better the flavor profile. 

Before serving, I topped it with a little Parmesan cheese.  Sometimes, I crave a bit of cheese (I can’t have a lot of it).  Most of the time I sub with nutritional yeast

You can also eliminate the cheese from the salad and the dressing to make it a totally vegan meal.  As a healthy alternative you can substitute in a little nutritional yeast for a cheese taste without the cheese.  The nutritional yeast is also a great source of B-complex vitamins including natural vitamin B-12.  So that’s a win- win in my book.

Vegetable Quinoa Salad

Vegetable Quinoa Salad

This vegetable quinoa salad is flavorful and nutrient dense and it also pairs well with meat or fish.   I hope you guys give it a try. 

Vegetable Quinoa Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1½ cups cooked Chick peas (1 can)
  • 2 medium Tomatoes
  • 1 cup Artichoke hearts- drained and chopped
  • 1 cup mixed Vegetables
  • 1 cup Edamame- cooked
  • 1 small Onion- chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic
For the dressing:
  • 6 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp White wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of Parsley- fresh or dry
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 2 tsp Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp Basil- fresh or dry
  • ¼ tsp Red pepper flakes
  • ⅛ oregano- fresh or dry
  • Salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste
Combine dressing ingredients:
  • Place ingredients in a blender or using an immersion blender, blend the ingredients until creamy
  • Set aside
Instructions
Quinoa:
  1. Prepare Quinoa ahead of time or allow time to cool
For salad:
  1. Start by draining a can of chick peas and add to a large mixing bowl
  2. Add mixed vegetables and edamame
  3. Cut and remove the seeds of the tomatoes and dice
  4. Drain and squeeze excess liquid from the artichoke hearts and chop into small pieces
  5. Chop onions and garlic and add all ingredients to the mixing bowl
  6. Toss ingredients together with the homemade Italian dressing and refrigerate for at least an hour or until its ready to be served.
Notes
If Quinoa is prepared ahead of time- cook time is 15 mins
If Quinoa is prepared along with the salad- cook time is extended due to cooking and cooling the quinoa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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