As I mentioned yesterday, I randomly threw together a quinoa salad that ended up coming out good enough to share! In the summer, I love light and refreshing meals (similar to this zoodle recipe) because they pair so nicely with the hot weather 😉 Winter time? Sure, I love being in the kitchen for hours with the stove going, whipping up a bunch of delicious things, but when it’s hot, the last thing I want to do is start my stove.
Our plan last Friday was to grill up some burgers and when I asked what RM wanted to go with them, he just said “veggies. you pick what kind”. Since I am not one to go boring or basic with side dishes, I spent some time thinking about what I could make that would be quick, easy and veggie-filled.
Thinking about what I had in my fridge helped get things going:
- cucumbers from my dad’s garden
- tomatoes from the fresh garden section at Whole Foods
- mozzarella cheese
From there, I thought about how I could throw those together, while coming up with something different than the Caprese Orzo Salad I made when my parents were here. Enter: Loaded Quinoa Salad. In addition to the ingredients above, I picked up an ear of corn and can of black beans… and frozen microwaveable quinoa! Have you guys heard of this? It’s amazing- in three and a half minutes I had some delicious quinoa ready for my use. Normally I’d just make it on the stovetop, but I had already packed all of my pots and pans so I needed to figure something else out. This worked perfectly.
- 1 bag of frozen quinoa, cooked according to the package
- 1 ear of corn, steamed and kernels shaved off
- 1/2 can of black beans, rinsed
- 4 small garden cucumbers, chopped into small pieces
- 1 big handful of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/2-1 cup mozzarella, chopped into small pieces
- 1/2 avocado, chopped into small pieces
- 1/2 cup EVOO
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- Juice of 1 lime
- S&P, garlic & basil
- Cook quinoa according to the package and steam the corn. Chop up the veggies & cheese and drain the beans and add to a big bowl.
2. Once the quinoa has cooked, let it cool. Once the corn has cooked, take a knife and shave the kernels off.
3. While the corn and quinoa are cooling, assemble the dressing by combining the EVOO, white wine vinegar, lime juice and herbs/seasonings in a small container or glass.
4. Once the corn and quinoa have cooled, add them to the chopped veggies, beans and cheese and mix well.
5. Drizzle the dressing over everything and continue to mix until it looks as though everything has been coated with the dressing.
We just ate this as a side dish with our burgers, but there are so many other ways to enjoy it, too!
The other night I topped a bed of spinach with this and it was such a nice change up to my normal, boring salads!
The colors and various textures/flavors in the dish created a little party in my mouth and I found myself continuing to go back for more spoonfuls!
Not only is this great for weekly dinner sides and lunches, but this is also a great dish to bring to a party as it’s different than most salads you’ll see. I highly suggest giving this a try!
Questions for you: What’s your favorite summer salad? What do you make when you don’t want to start the stove?