Today I am going to share a secret with you. My most favoritest go to dish-ever! I make this salad every Sunday and eat it throughout the week. If you have spent time with me recently, chances are you have tried this salad since it is the dish I make for every shower, dinner party, birthday, pot luck…anything I have to bring food to!
Quinoa- pronounced keen-wah- is a grain like seed that can be prepared like a whole grain. It provides all 9 essential amino acids which makes it a complete protein. It is high in fiber, low in cholesterol, gluten-free and a great addition to your pantry.
This is why it is awesome:
-Packed with protein
-Keeps in the fridge all week
-2 cups uncooked quinoa (about 8 cups when cooked)
-1 ½ cups quartered cherry tomatoes
-1 cup chopped green onion
-2 cups chopped bell peppers
-1 cup grilled/chopped asparagus
-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-1 cup seasoned feta cheese (or plain if you can’t find it seasoned)
-3 tablespoons toasted or raw pine nuts (I used raw)
-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
-1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
-1 tablespoon minced garlic
-1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (For those with celiac, watch your ingredients!)
– ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
-1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
Cook quinoa according to the directions on the package. Add a pinch of salt for seasoning. Set aside to cool in a large mixing bowl. Toss asparagus in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, pinch of salt and pinch of pepper. Grill over stove top or any other method you have (I used a pan and it worked perfectly fine). Set aside to cool. Combine quinoa, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, green onion and feta cheese in large mixing bowl. Roll up those sleeves, get your clean hands in there and combine all those goodies.
For the dressing, combine fresh lemon juice, white wine vinegar, minced garlic, Dijon mustard, dried oregano, ground cumin and extra virgin olive oil. Whisk away!
Pour dressing over combined ingredients and mix. Top with pine nuts.
P.S. I personally think the more goodies you add, the better! Feel free to play around with this recipe and add in a few of your favorites such as olives, mushrooms or chicken.
P.S.S. I have a very misbehaved digestive system and I decided to eliminate all meat (chicken, beef, fish…everything) from my diet for a while as an experiment. That being said, I have had to get creative with keeping protein in my diet. I especially love this salad because quinoa is PACKED with protein- about 8 grams per cooked cup of quinoa! It is super filling and bursting with flavor, nutrients and leaves you feeling full without the bloat! A win-win if you ask my belly!
Try it out then leave a comment below letting me know what you think. Also, share with your friends. They will love you and so will I.