Favorite Greens Quinoa Salad
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This is the time of year when gardens and farmer’s markets are exploding with all things green.
Especially zucchini, cucumbers, and fresh herbs. I love it.
I combined some of my favorite green vegetables and herbs in this fast, easy, light, and fresh salad. It’s naturally gluten-free, vegan, and you’ll just feel healthier after eating it. I’ve been on a quinoa and tabbouleh kick lately and I couldn’t get enough of this dish. Plus if zucchini and cucumbers are multiplying on your counter, the recipe will take a few off your hands.
It’s a versatile salad and if you want to add avocado, steamed broccoli, peapods, edamame, or other favorites, feel free.
Apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, dijon mustard really brighten up the dish while basil and mint give it depth and will keep you going back for more. I used a pinch of cayenne which doesn’t make it spicy but adds another dimension of flavor, but it’s optional.
The salad is great right away but it’s a perfect make-ahead recipe because the flavors develop over time and I think it tastes better a day or two after making it. You can either serve it warm or cold and since there’s no mayo it’s a great salad for lunch boxes, picnics, potlucks, and parties.
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa (I used white), cooked according to package directions
- 1 cup zucchini, diced
- 1 cup cucumber, diced (I used English because they release less water but regular cucumbers can be used)
- 1/3 cup green onions, diced finely (from 2 green onions using both green and white)
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (I used basil-infused olive oil for extra flavor)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (zest the lemon before juicing it)
- 2 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons honey (use agave to keep vegan)
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
- pinch cayenne pepper, optional but recommended
- To a large skillet or saucepan, add the quinoa and cook according to package directions. While the quinoa cooks, prep and chop the remaining ingredients.
- To a large bowl, add the zucchini, cucumber, green onions, basil, and mint; set aside.
- To a large glass measuring cup or medium bowl, add the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, dijon mustard, honey, lemon zest, salt, pepper, optional cayenne, and whisk to combine.
- Pour sauce over the vegetables and stir to combine. (The vinegar, lemon juice, and salt help to soften and ‘cook’ the zucchini over time which is why I don’t sautee it first.)
- Transfer cooked quinoa to the bowl and stir to combine. Taste, check for seasoning balance, and if necessary add more salt, pepper, more honey, more lemon, etc. Dish can be served warm and immediately or stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. The flavors develop over time and it tastes better a day or two after making it, and can either be served warm or chilled but I prefer the leftovers chilled. Note that the vegetables will continue to release their natural water and juices as time passes.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 273Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 741mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 5gSugar: 10gProtein: 8g
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