My sister has been making this quinoa salad for YEARS – it was her brainchild and even bears her name in a Nutrition cookbook. I thought, however, that naming it the “Wicked Easy Quinoa Salad” on B&B was better than calling it the J[REDACTED]’s Quinoa Salad. 😉 Regardless of its name, she came up with it and it’s the ultimate bring to the BBQ/make for a party/take for lunch salad because it’s a) ridiculously easy – if you can chop vegetables, you got this; b) exceptionally delicious (and also full of stuff that’s good for you); and c) vegan (dairy & egg free), gluten free and soy free. YES on all levels. And since it’s about to be 86°F / 30°C and ridiculously humid today in Boston, it only requires one simmering pot of water – so it won’t turn your kitchen into a furnace. Love that.
Anywho, one of my friends was giving me a hard time about the way I eat (as a veg, you learn to roll with the punches early on or having your eating habits questioned gets really irritating really quickly). For once, it wasn’t the ubiquitous “Omg don’t you miss eating bacon/steak/wings so much?!”/”Where do you get your protein?” (For the record, my new favorite response is “what’s protein?” with a blank look on your face. I’ve found you start to NGAF when you’ve been a veg for over half your life and have heard this shiz for the past 16 years, and as a biochemist, I mean – bitch, please. Don’t even talk to me about protein.)/”Blah blah blah blah” (Because you also start to tune it out after awhile too – my choices aren’t your choices, so you do you, boo. I’ll be doing me over here. BYE!). Okay, I could really go on forever on but I’ll save it for another time. This time, when given a hard time about my eating habits it was more of, “You don’t like cooking multiple dishes, do you? You basically cook one thing and just eat that?” My response: um, YES. Because I’m BUSY dude – I have stuff to do. And as much as I would love to stand around drinking red wine and cooking all day like the vegetarian Julia Child, I have a career, a life and I’m perpetually training for some physical challenge. And I’m pretty content with that. So yeah – the majority of the time during the week, yes. I do just cook one dish and eat it for part of the week: because it’s easy, you don’t have to do a million dishes, stand in front of the stove for a long time after you’ve already been standing in front of a laboratory hood for eight hours, and you’ve got a training run tomorrow at 5 am and have to go to sleep in like 45 minutes. I assume most people feel that way during the week – everyone loves a quick, easy, flavorful, filling and nutritious meal all in one shot, amiright?! Obviously, I love to cook (why else would I be writing this blog 😉 😀 ) and when I have the luxury of time I get to go balls to the wall. So, for everyone of you who are too busy loving life to stay chained to your stove – here’s another B&B QEFFN (quick, easy, flavorful, filling and nutritious, whose acronym looks dangerously close to “queefin” – I’m going to have to work on that) meal for you all to enjoy. It’s really, really delicious and shares zero resemblance to any embarrassing scenarios. 😛 😉
Wicked Easy Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup of quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups of vegetable broth or water
- 2 cups of grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 bunch of scallions, chopped
- 1 bunch of radishes, sliced
- 1 can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 – 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3+ Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Fresh herbs: basil, parsley, oregano, mint, etc.
- Salt and pepper to taste
Step One: Cook your quinoa. Bring the veggie broth or water to a boil and add the quinoa. Turn the heat to love, and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the germ has separated from the seed (the tiny spirals that appear when the quinoa is done cooking). While your quinoa is simmering away, prep all of your veggies. Toss all of your veggies into a large bowl.
Step Two: When the quinoa is finished cooking, add the olive oil and stir to coat all of the quinoa. Allow it to cool down to room temperature (or just slightly above, I’m super impatient) so it doesn’t “cook” the veggies.
Step Three: Combine the quinoa and veggies, stirring well to mix. Add the vinegar to taste.
Step Four: Adjust any seasoning and add the fresh herbs. I only added a huge handful of chopped basil, because that is what I had on hand.
Step Five: Serve with extra chopped herbs as a garnish. Enjoy! 😀 😀
Here’s what’s really great about this salad: you can serve it with tortilla chips at a party/BBQ/snack time, or you can eat a big ol’ scoop of it plain. Or you can put it on top of your lunch salad, roll it up in a wrap with hummus and veggies, put it on a mezze platter or whatever you are feeling like doing at the moment. It’s so versatile! It tastes fresh, crunchy from the veggies, light and refreshing – perfect for summer, yet it’s still extremely satisfying and filling. And, according to My Fitness Pal, each serving (1/5 of this recipe, if you eat a beastly amount like I did) has 384 calories, 10 grams of fiber, 14.6 grams of protein (wait, did you hear that haters?! It has a bunch of plant protein!!) and is in the 80%s for both your daily value of Vitamin A and C. Whussup, now!
Dude, it’s just really good. I can’t wait for you to try it.
Hope you all are having fantastic hump days!! Also – FOUR DAYS TIL MY BIRTHDAYYYYYYYY 😀 Woo woo!