Have you ever just yearned for some clean, tasty, healthy salad? I’ll be honest- if I go out to eat, the salad section is not what my hungry eyes are drawn to. I’m not anti-greens, but I feel that I might end up sacrificing some flavor if I went with an entree salad with the standard dressings most places seem to offer- ranch, Italian, blah blah.
Since being in Hawaii for the past two weeks, I’m pretty sure it was me who was responsible for slowing the plane down coming home. My stomach seems to be a smidg bigger (oops), but I’m determined to fix that! Just before I took that trip, I attended The Big Potluck, which was a fantastic weekend of sharing time and being with like-minded people who offered up advice and inspiration more than any book ever could. I’d love to have added some beautiful& scenic pictures of where it was held, but someone, (okay, me) forgot to replace the battery in my camera. Bonehead- much!
Whole Foods Market was one of the many awesome sponsors, and they provided a lunch that was outstanding. They introduced many grains which could be mixed with proteins, tofu or tempeh with some fantastic dressings. Looking back on that lunch I was inspired to create this quinoa salad.
Salads don’t have to be just greens. They can be if you like, but I think there’s oodles more flavor from the grains. They feel more like a substantial meal, easy to cook and are great for fridge clean-ups! Quinoa is a powerhouse protein, contains no gluten, is super low in fat and easy to cook. It’s like a blank canvas waiting for you to add herbs, vegetables, fish or chicken maing the best quinoa salad you’ve ever tasted.
I’ll be experimenting with lots more tasty grains…let me know your favorites!
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
For The Salad
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 cup heirloom tomatoes halved
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives pitted
- 2 1/2 tbsp green onion sliced thinly
- 1 ounce small can cooked black beans Rinsed 14
- 1/2 avocado cut into small squares
- 2 cups micro greens
For The Dressing
- 2 cloves large garlic
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Combine the red wine vinegar, garlic, basil, salt and pepper in a food processor.
- Pulse on high speed while adding the oil in a slow stream until emulsified.
- Set aside in the fridge until ready to use.
- Cook the quinoa as per the instructions on the pack, once it's ready let it cool.
- When cool, add the rest of the ingredients.
- Add two tablespoons of dressing to the mixture and toss gently. Add more dressing if preferred.
- Place on plates and serve at once, or store in the fridge until ready to use.