Food Friday: My Go-To Summer Quinoa Salads

Oh She Glows Long Weekend Grilled Salad (my quinoa salad went too quickly to snap a pic!)

Oh She Glows Long Weekend Grilled Salad (my quinoa salad went too quickly to snap a pic!)

Happy summer! The warmer temperatures are finally here bringing along camping trips, picnics and beach days. Does your calendar look even busier than usual with all your weekends booked up with these activities? I am always surprised, but excited, when my summer is planned out as I always have something to look forward to. This weekend my sister is visiting from Ontario and it is turning out to be a perfect weekend! I love having visitors, especially her, because there is so much to explore and experience in and around Halifax. Some things on our list are a valley trip for some wine tasting, a big hike by the beach and some delicious dinners out. 😃 

3 silly sisters

3 silly sisters

Having weekends on the go also means I do not have much time to prep food for the week to ensure I am eating healthily. This is where my summer quinoa salad comes in. It is a go to for me! I can throw in all the delicious spring/summer veggies that are in season, dress it up how I like and take it to go. It is great for picnics with friends, a family camping trip and a quick and easy week lunch. It doesn’t get soggy or spoil quickly if you are careful what you put in it. The great thing is that the possibilities are endless! 

Here are two of my typical concoctions and one from OhSheGlows that I’ve made with great reviews from loved ones. 

Zingy cilantro-lime black bean quinoa salad:

  • 1-2 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup dried yields about 2.5 cups cooked)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage 
  • 1/2-1 red or orange pepper, diced 
  • 1/4-1/2 cucumber, diced 
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large handful cilantro, roughly chopped 
  • juice of 1 lime, about 2-3 tbsp 
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, approximately (I just eyeball it when I drizzle it in)
  • 1-2 tsp cumin 
  • 1/2-1 avocado, diced

Directions: Mix all ingredients together except avocado. Adjust seasoning to taste. Let it sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes before serving to let the flavours combine. You may need to add another squeeze of lime juice or olive oil before serving. Add avocado just before serving and voila!

Refreshing chickpea quinoa salad: 

  • 1-2 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup dried yields about 2.5 cups cooked)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2-3 summer radishes, diced
  • 1/4-1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4-1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1 large handful spinach, diced (to get my greens!)
  • 1 large handful parsley, roughly chopped 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, approximately (I just eyeball it when I drizzle it in)
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice (approximately 1.5 lemons)
  • 1 tomato, diced 

Directions: Mix all ingredients together except the tomato. Adjust seasoning to taste. Let it sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes before serving to let the flavours combine. You may need to add another squeeze of lemon juice or olive oil before serving. Add tomato just before serving and voila!

OhSheGlows Long Weekend Grilled Salad:

http://ohsheglows.com/2011/09/02/long-weekend-grilled-salad/

I only used 3 or 4 ears of corn, no wheatberries and 1 cup quinoa instead. I also add avocado before serving. So delicious! 

Let me know what you think in the comments below or what twists you come up with. :) 

 

In health & happiness, 

Dr. Karen