This salad offers a just a few more seasonal treats, along with cold cooked quinoa. Isn't it colorful? And it is oh-so-delicious. Adding chicken and cheese — or how about some diced hard-boiled eggs? — turns it into a main dish. Such an easy meal!
I make this salad using the dump method. Have I not shared this method yet? 😉 You dump a bunch of ingredients in a biiiiggggg bowl, and then mix. Taste, adjust, and mix some more.
Quinoa Garden Salad
can feature the entire garden — and makes quite a bit
- a few cucumbers, diced (peeled if desired)
- a few bell peppers, diced
- a few tomatoes, diced (using Romas keeps them firm longer)
- a few carrots, shredded
- an onion, or half, diced
- a few cloves of garlic, crushed
- a few sprigs of herbs, chopped (or use pinches of dried)
- a hunk of raw cheese, diced
- a few handfuls of cooked chicken, diced
- 3 to 5 cups of soaked and cooked quinoa (soaking and cooking whole grains)
- extra virgin olive oil, to taste
- a drizzle of sesame oil (or toasted), to taste
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
- apple cider vinegar, coconut vinegar, or lemon juice, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a big bowl. Mix well, but gently. Taste and adjust seasonings. Chill or serve immediately. Chill leftovers.
Now, don't be scared away by having to soak and cook the quinoa ahead of time. Nothing scary about it! (But if you need some handholding, check out the Fundamentals eCourse.)
Let's say you want to eat this salad tomorrow night. Tonight, rinse about 3 cups of quinoa under running water for 2 minutes. Put it in a pot with 6 warm cups of water and 6 tablespoons of some acid (apple cider vinegar, Kombucha, kefir, yogurt, etc.). Cover the pot, and let it sit out for a minimum of 7 hours, but probably until tomorrow morning. Then put the pot on the stove and cook the quinoa, by bringing it to a boil, then turning it down to a simmer, covered. It will probably cook in 10 to 20 minutes. Turn off the heat. Let it cool. Chill it. Then tomorrow afternoon, dump it into the bowl with all the other ingredients. See, that wasn't so hard, was it?
This salad is an example of the cold grain salads I make often, especially for busy summer work days and weekends. I make a huge bowlful (double what you see below) and we enjoy some with all our family meals for a few days, taking some meals off to keep from getting bored.
I thought you all would enjoy seeing the visitors in my picture!
Interested other cold grain salads? Check out Erin's colorful and tasty smoked salmon and rice salad. And Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship uses my favorite grain, spelt, in her cold spelt salad. I haven't tried whole spelt berries in a grain salad yet, but since her family loves that salad, it's on my list.
What else would you add to this salad? What other veggies are dying to get dumped into the bowl, too?
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