I had every intention of creating a new Easter recipe for this week’s blog post. Growning up, my family never had any special dishes for the holiday though – we either eat the same types of dishes from Thanksgiving or Christmas or we went out to eat. I wracked my brain trying to think of something Eastery, but nothing came to mind. I’ve been super busy lately, too, with very little time to actuallly come up with something new. In addition to health coaching, blogging, working on a new e-book, and helping others with social media management, I also coach nutrition school students. With all of that going on, I’ve only had three free days over the past two months. I plan on taking some much-needed time off later this week!
So, instead of having something new for Easter this week, I have an old warm-weather standby to share. I’ve been making this quinoa salad for years. It’s fun to make for potlucks, and I often have some in the fridge for days when I need an easy lunch. I give this recipe to my health coaching clients when I talk about grains, as it’s an easy dish to make and always a crowd-pleaser. While working on blog updates recently I realized that I had never posted this recipe, and now is as good a time as any to change that!
I like to use multi-colored quinoa for to make the dish look nice, but of course, any color quinoa will due. I cook my quinoa in vegetable stock, or with water and a bouillon cube, for extra flavor, but plain water will just fine.
This quinoa salad is pretty versatile. If you don’t like cucumbers, you can use another vegetable, such as roasted red peppers or artichoke hearts. If you’d like to make the dish a little heartier, it would taste great with chickpeas or white beans.
- • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- • 2 cups water or vegetable stock
- • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- • 1½ teaspoons lemon juice
- • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- • 2 cloves garlic, minced
- • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- • ½ teaspoon sea salt
- • ¼ cup red onion, diced
- • I pint cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- • 1 cucumber, chopped
- • ⅓ cup fresh basil, chopped
- • ⅓ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- • ¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted
- Bring 2 cups of water or vegetable broth to a boil, add quinoa, cover and simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes. or until water is fully absorbed. Set aside and let cool.
- While the quinoa is cooling, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, crushed red pepper, and salt.
- Toss together the quinoa with the onion, tomatoes, cucumber, basil, and parsley. Gently mix in the dress. Garnish with the slivered almonds.
- Serve cold or at room temperature.