Monday, February 20, 2012

Meatless Mondays: Quinoa Salad

 Quinoa salad

We had a great weekend, including our first 5k trail race (which was MUCH more difficult than I imagined!), and my first feature on foodgawker!  If you're here because of that post, welcome! Settle in, and have  a look around.

When preparing for the week, I find it helpful to cook a few large-batch recipes on Sunday afternoon. That leaves me with most of my lunches and dinners already prepared for the week. This quinoa salad is one of my favorites. It is simple to prepare, provides two vegan sources of complete protein (quinoa and edamame), and the leftovers are very tasty. It can also be doubled, tripled, or whatever you like very easily.

Quinoa salad2

If you haven't tried quinoa before, I encourage you to do so! It boasts a pretty solid nutritional profile,  and is a fun change-up from brown rice. For carb-based salads, I prefer whole grain salads to pasta salads (like wheat berry or quinoa salads) because I find they keep me much fuller and provide steadier energy. This salad is a great place to start.

This recipe is vegan (although, be sure to check your mustard ingredients, and note that some vegans do not consume honey). I used some leftover roasted bell peppers instead of fresh bell peppers, but I recommend fresh if you have them.

Quinoa salad3

Quinoa Salad
Yield: 4 servings

For Salad: 
1 cup dry quinoa
1 cup chopped red or yellow bell pepper
1 cup shelled edamame, thawed if frozen
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 cup raisins
1 oz pumpkin seeds

For Dressing:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp honey dijon mustard

1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. (I combine 1 cup quinoa with two cups of water in my rice cooker.)
2. While the quinoa cooks, combine remaining ingredients for salad in a large bowl. Stir to combine, and set aside. Combine ingredients for dressing in a smaller bowl, whisk together, and add to the salad bowl. Stir to combine.
3. When the quinoa is finished cooking, add it to the salad ingredients, and stir to combine. This salad can be served hot or cold. For easy lunches, portion leftovers into individual containers in the fridge - then just grab one to take for lunch.

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