A light quinoa salad with cucumber, tomatoes, red pepper and fresh parsley and basil with a simple balsamic dressing.
I love making a big batch of salad on the weekend for easy lunches throughout the week. For these “lunch salads”, I like to use grains as a base; for many reason, but mostly because they hold up in the fridge for a few days.
I typical use either quinoa or farro for the perfect meal prep salad. You can also add hearty greens like kale or swiss chard, as they tend to hold up better in the fridge than things like spinach or lettuce.
My quinoa and kale salad with roasted sweet potatoes and tahini dressing is another meal prep favourite of mine.
This summer version is filled with fresh herbs that are in-season during the summer months, like basil and parsley. But this is also the perfect way to add a burst of fresh summer flavour to your kitchen in the winter.
Along with the fresh herbs, I’ve opted for cucumber, red bell pepper and green onion for crunch and flavour. But you could easily swap in whatever vegetables you have on hand; red onion, sugar snap peas and fresh dill would all be great alternatives.
This is a pretty simple and basic salad recipe that you can easily make your own. I always make a homemade balsamic vinaigrette to go along with my salad made with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard and honey.
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Summer Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, cooked to package directions
- 1/2 English cucumber, diced
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 tsp salt
Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Cook quinoa according to package directions, about 12-15 minutes. Allow quinoa to cool for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prep dressing. Whisk vinegar with Dijon mustard and honey in a small bowl. While continuously whisking, pour in olive oil in a light, steady stream. Continue whisking until olive oil is incorporated into vinegar and dressing has thickened, about 30 seconds.
- Mix quinoa with tomato, red pepper, green onions, parsley and basil. Season with salt. Drizzle with dressing, you may not want all of the dressing, start by adding a little at a time and add more as you go.
Let me know if you give this summer quinoa salad a try in the comments below.