I have a confession to make. I didn’t think I liked quinoa. (Gasp!) I made it a few years ago and it was just OK to me. After eating not-so-great over Easter Break at Disney, I decided it was time to reset my system and eat a bit healthier. Knowing quinoa is a healthy, complex carbohydrate, I thought I would try it again. And so my search began. Unfortunately, several recipes I found had something I didn’t quite care for – too much kale, not enough protein or too creamy of a dressing. After my research, I devised this Hearty Quinoa Salad I hope you enjoy as much as I do!
I made a pretty big mistake the last time I make quinoa. I didn’t let it cook long enough. I’ve since learned it needs to be translucent with just the grain showing through. Also, after letting it simmer for 20 minutes, take it off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes … another critical step that, in my impatience, I probably didn’t do the first time around.
One thing I really like about this salad is that you can change it up to your liking. If you don’t have hard-boiled eggs on hand, substitute tuna, chicken or salmon. Throw in frozen peas or sliced carrots in place of the tomatoes. It’s really up to you. My husband loves salads of any kind. So, I decided to let him share this with me for his lunch this week. I layered everything in a plastic container the night before. Start with the dressing on the bottom. Add the quinoa, chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes and feta. Cover and enjoy for lunch the next day.
I developed this basic lime vinaigrette dressing a few years back, and it has been my go-to dressing ever since. I like it because it’s easy to put together, makes enough to last us a week or two and is sugar-free. While homemade dressings are by far healthier for you, I often see them made with sugar or honey and sometimes both! I think it’s unnecessary to add extra sugar, especially when you’re using fresh ingredients.
Give this quinoa salad a try today!
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup diced cucumber
- 10-12 cherry or grape tomatoes
- 2 tablespoon feta cheese
- 4 hard boiled eggs
- Blend lime juice, mustard, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and cumin in a traditional blender or immersion blender.
- Add olive oil and canola oil into the juice mixture and thoroughly mix the oil into the juice. Store in the refrigerator.
- Divide the quinoa between two salad bowls. Add the chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes, feta cheese and eggs. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.