This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is likely one of the greatest quinoa salads you’ll ever make. It’s a wholesome recipe that you may make forward of time for a protein-packed lunch, and it’s additionally an awesome base for a bowl-style meal, like Falafel Bowls.
Why You’ll Love It
By now, you’re in all probability aware of quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), a gluten-free superfood that’s truly extra of a seed, than a grain. Quinoa accommodates all the important amino acids the physique wants, so it’s additionally a whole supply of plant-based protein.
Listed below are some potential well being advantages:
- Quinoa accommodates the flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol, which act as antioxidants within the physique, and have anti-inflammatory properties.
- It accommodates extra fiber than brown rice. Consuming a fiber-rich weight-reduction plan could assist to lower cholesterol levels and can hold you feeling full longer.
- Quinoa accommodates 8 grams of protein per cooked cup, together with the 9 important amino acids that your physique can’t make by itself.
- Consuming quinoa frequently could contribute to a lower BMI, presumably as a result of it helps you are feeling extra glad.
It’s necessary to notice that quinoa, like different grains, accommodates anti-nutrients together with saponins and phytic acid. This will likely hinder nutrient absorption. You possibly can scale back these anti-nutritional components by rinsing the quinoa, or soaking it in water after which draining it, earlier than cooking.
Rinsing quinoa additionally helps to take away any bitter taste it’d include. Should you’ve cooked quinoa earlier than and didn’t take care of the style, that is perhaps why!
That is particularly necessary when making a candy recipe, like quinoa porridge.
Components You’ll Want
What’s quinoa salad made from?
- Cherry tomatoes
- Crimson bell pepper
- Crimson onion
- Lemon juice
- Olive oil
- Contemporary herbs
- Salt & pepper
You possibly can add any further toppings you’re keen on, corresponding to sliced olives or a tangy feta cheese. For further protein, you can too add sliced rooster breast or cooked shrimp.
The best way to Make the Finest Quinoa Salad
1. Prepare dinner the quinoa. Quinoa is the one factor you should cook dinner for this recipe. Begin by rinsing the dry quinoa in a nice mesh strainer to take away the saponin (bitter taste), then switch the drained quinoa to a small saucepan.
Cowl the quinoa with 3 1/2 cups of water, and convey the liquid to a boil. As soon as it’s boiling, decrease the warmth and canopy the pot. Prepare dinner till the quinoa has absorbed the liquid, about quarter-hour.
Fluff with a fork and let it cool as you assemble the remainder of the salad.
2. Put together the dressing. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and black pepper to the underside of a big bowl. Whisk that collectively, then you possibly can proceed so as to add the veggies and recent herbs as you chop them, tossing them within the dressing as you go.
I like to begin with the pink onion, so the flavour can mellow within the dressing. Alternatively, you should use a shallot as an alternative, or simply follow inexperienced onions, if the pink onion taste is just too sturdy. (I’ve heard rinsing an onion beneath chilly water additionally helps take away a powerful taste.)
3. Toss all of it collectively. When you’ve added the pink onion, dill, parsley, tomatoes, bell pepper, and cucumber to the bowl, add within the cooled quinoa and toss nicely.
Understand that the flavour of this salad will likely be stronger whereas the quinoa continues to be heat, and it’ll develop into extra muted whenever you chill it within the fridge.
You possibly can serve this immediately with out chilling, however needless to say it’s possible you’ll want to regulate the flavour once more as soon as it has chilled within the fridge in a single day.
Make sure to add any further toppings you’re keen on! Kalamata olives are a basic addition in Mediterranean-style salads, and I like the creamy, tangy addition of some crumbled feta, too.
This quinoa salad will hold nicely within the fridge for as much as 5 days when saved in an hermetic container. I purposefully don’t add garlic to this recipe, it might develop into slightly too pungent as it’s saved, however be at liberty so as to add it, in the event you like.
Quinoa salad is considered one of my favourite make-ahead lunch concepts, as a result of it retains so nicely! Portion it into particular person containers, for a straightforward “seize and go” choice to your week forward. You possibly can add totally different toppings every day, in the event you’d like to vary it up!
Incessantly Requested Questions & Substitutions
Can I exploit one thing aside from lemon juice? Certain! You should utilize lime juice, or begin with 2 tablespoons of pink wine vinegar, as an alternative. Vinegar tends to be extra pungent than citrus juice, so begin with much less, and add extra as you go.
Can I make it vegan? This recipe is vegan in the event you don’t add the feta cheese on prime. Strive a drizzle of creamy tahini dressing on prime, in the event you’d like so as to add dairy-free creaminess, or some freshly sliced avocado.
What different herbs can I exploit? Should you don’t have dill or parsley readily available, you possibly can swap it for recent cilantro, or a smaller quantity of recent mint leaves or basil, for a barely totally different taste.
How do I add further protein? You possibly can add in cooked rooster or shrimp, or for a vegetarian choice, attempt including in cooked chickpeas or black beans. You would even add some baked tofu, in the event you like!
Finest Quinoa Salad
This quinoa salad is my favourite packed lunch, loaded with plant-based protein. Straightforward to make with lemon juice, recent herbs, and crunchy veggies!
- 2 cups dry quinoa , rinsed
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup further virgin olive oil
- 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 massive lemons)
- 1/2 pink onion , chopped
- 1 massive cucumber , chopped
- 1 pink bell pepper , chopped
- 1/2 cup recent dill , chopped
- 1/2 cup recent flat-leaf parsley , chopped
- 3 inexperienced onions , white and inexperienced components solely, chopped
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives , sliced (non-compulsory)
- nice sea salt & black pepper
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta (non-compulsory; omit to maintain this recipe vegan)
Rinse the quinoa in a nice mesh sieve beneath operating water for 60 seconds, to assist take away any bitterness. Add it to a small saucepan and canopy with the three 1/2 cups of recent water. Deliver the water to a boil over excessive warmth, then decrease the temperature and canopy for quarter-hour, cooking till the quinoa has absorbed all the water. Fluff with a fork, and permit to chill whilst you chop the greens and herbs.
Within the meantime, combine collectively the olive oil, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of sea salt and a 1/2 teaspoon of floor black pepper in a big bowl.
Add the greens to the bowl of dressing as you chop them, beginning with the pink onion, adopted by the cucumber, bell pepper, dill, parsley, and inexperienced onions. Toss nicely to mix, and add within the cooked quinoa when it has cooled barely. Season with further salt and pepper, if desired. (I often add as much as 1 teaspoon extra salt, to style.) Add within the non-compulsory olives, if utilizing, and the crumbled feta, for an additional creamy and tangy taste.
Enable the combination to marinate a minimum of an hour earlier than serving, or chill within the fridge in a single day. This salad might be served chilly or at room temperature, and may hold in an hermetic container within the fridge for as much as 5 days.
See the total submit above for substitution concepts and step-by-step images.
Energy: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 11g | Fats: 17g | Saturated Fats: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fats: 3g | Monounsaturated Fats: 9g | Ldl cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 334mg | Potassium: 539mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1544IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 129mg | Iron: 4mg
Should you do that quinoa salad, please go away a remark and star ranking beneath to let me know the way you prefer it!