Quinoa Salad

Spring is arriving and with it warmth has returned to our lives, I don’t know about you but the warm spring weather always inspires me to get outside and to eat clean and healthy meals again! After months of mostly only craving heaping servings of very hot soups and pastas I’m excited to be craving salads and other cold meals filled with nutrients to keep me energized through what can be one of the more stressful months for a university student (exam season is on it’s way), as well as really kick into gear the summer shred season!

Prep: 5 Minutes

Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients:

This salad is protein packed, east to meal prep takes about 25 minutes to throw together and most importantly is very delicious. I chose my vegetables based off of what was in my fridge at the time, I often also add avocado, broccoli, cauliflower or Brussels sprouts to this dish but kept it simple with my peppers, onion and edamame beans today. I love including as many different colored vegetables in any of my meals to increase my vitamin intake, each colour usually means a different vitamin. Red and yellow peppers are full of vitamin C and red ones specifically can help with iron absorption, red cabbage contains vitamin C and K as well as B-12.

  • 2 Cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bouillon cube (Optional)
  • 1 Half of a medium sized red pepper
  • 1 Half of a medium sized yellow pepper
  • 1/4 of a red pepper
  • Half a can of chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup of chopped red cabbage
  • 1 cup of edamame beans (de-shelled)
  • sliced almonds to top ( or almond pieces)

For the dressing:

  • 1 table spoon grainy Dijon
  • 1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, or half a lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon water
  • salt and pepper to taste.
  • dash of cayenne (optional)

Method:

  1. Start by rinsing your 2 cups of quinoa well and then place it in a small to medium sized pot with 4 cups of water and the bouillion cube, bring to a boil and let simmer until water has been absorbed. Place in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking wash and chop all your vegetables.
  3. Put the edamame beans on a small pan and pan fry until warmed through.
  4. Pour all liquid ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and mix well until well combined, then add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Once the quinoa is cooked and cooled down and moved to a mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix until evenly distributed. Pour the dressing in and mix until combined.

Salad is easy to throw together and is open to any changes! Sprinkle on some almonds, or pumpkin seeds, whatever your favorite nuts/seeds are for those essential fats! You do need to cook the edamame beans in order to receive the health benefits they offer, and I would suggest cooking any larger vegetables you may want to add such as broccoli or cauliflower.

Let me know what you’re enjoying this spring, looking for some healthy inspiration! I loved this salad for before the gym lunch, I find quinoa to not be too heavy and because it has protein it still helps you feel full and energized.

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