With a new season in full swing, a welcome change in diet comes with it. Incorporating fresh, in-season greens into your diet will help you feel refreshed and nourished to take it on with a happy and healthy mindset. This calls for light and simple recipes that are easy to whip up.
The fall and winter seasons often mean the start of more time indoors and mid-to-less physical activity, it is essential to make sure that you are consuming meals that nourish the body and provide the vital nutrients needed for a happy and healthy body. Opting for lighter, fresh and in-season ingredients will help you create inspiring dishes that will feed both your body and soul.
Salads are an easy and excellent dish to prepare in any season due to their crisp, refreshing and light nature. However, oftentimes they can leave one feeling unsatisfied if prepared incorrectly. Incorporating superfoods such as Quinoa—a flowering plant of the amaranth family—known for its seeds that are rich in protein, b vitamins and fibre is an excellent addition to salads, as it provides enough protein and fibre to leave one feeling satisfied. Pairing quinoa with some fresh, in-season vegetables makes for a delectable dish.
This is why we’ve decided to publish one of our favourite superfood salad recipes, guaranteed to make it to your any season meal roster.
Below we’ve listed the necessary ingredients and preparation instructions to make a delicious, light, and refreshing Quinoa Salad with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs.
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and strained beforehand
- 2 cups water
- 1 medium-sized English cucumber, diced
- 1 beefsteak tomato, diced
- 1 red onion, sliced (optional)
- 1 block feta, diced (optional)
- 1 sprig fresh dill, finely chopped
- 1 sprig fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds (optional for an extra crunch)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar, or a vinegar of your choice
- 1 tsp Celtic sea salt
- fresh ground pepper, sprinkled to taste
- Rinse one cup of quinoa under cold filtered water to cleanse the grain and remove any debris. Then, fill a medium-sized pot with lightly salted water and add the rinsed quinoa to the saucepan. While stirring occasionally, bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, and reduce to a slow simmer once the mixture has reached its boiling point.
- Continue to cook the quinoa uncovered for about 15 minutes until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water and is starting to look softer and fluffier in texture. While the quinoa is cooking, begin to chop the cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and herbs and have them prepared and on standby once the quinoa is cooked.
- Remove saucepan and quinoa away from heat and let stand for 5-10 minutes until the quinoa has cooled down. Lightly fluff the quinoa seeds with a fork to avoid any clumping.
- Add the cooked quinoa to a large serving bowl. Combine the chopped and diced vegetables into the serving bowl and mix thoroughly until all ingredients are immersed. Set the bowl aside.
- In a small bowl, begin to make the salad dressing by combining the olive oil, fresh lemon juice, vinegar of your choice, minced garlic, and finely chopped herbs. Whisk until the dressing is thoroughly blended.
- Combine the homemade dressing by drizzling the mixture over the quinoa and vegetables. Toss until all ingredients are lightly coated and mixed in with the dressing. In this step, feel free to add small diced feta cubes, and fresh pomegranate seeds to add an extra textual component and crunch to the salad.
- Serve fresh or chilled. Store this quinoa salad in the refrigerator where it will stay fresh for up to 3 to 4 days, preserved naturally by the lemon and vinegar included in the dressing.
Whether you choose to enjoy this salad on its own, or include it as a side dish amongst a shared dinner with family and friends, this crisp and refreshing quinoa salad is guaranteed to satisfy your tastebuds and quench your cravings. Either way, your tummy will thank you for fueling it with fresh and nutrient-dense ingredients.
Arnav Khosla | Contributing Writer