I made up this salad a few weeks ago when I was busy with my yoga teacher training weekends. It was the perfect protein packed lunch to get me through the long & rigorous days. It is an absolutely delightful combination of summer colors & flavors.
Lately, I’ve been cooking my quinoa with a technique I learned from Giada de Laurentiis that takes your average quinoa to the next level. Her “Herbed Quinoa” (subbed with veg broth, of course!) is a new staple recipe in my kitchen. The way she prepares the it with a combination of broth & lemon juice makes for the most moist & refreshing quinoa I’ve ever tasted. I thought it would be the perfect base this salad, & boy was I right on the money!
This recipe features all of the usual suspects one might find in a Mediterranean inspired dish ~ cucumber, pepper, tomato, olives, basil, fresh lemon juice. I added chickpeas for extra protein, & a handful of chopped spinach for some extra greenery. I think the quinoa has enough flavor & moistness on its own, so I did not make an additional dressing. However, a light red wine vinaigrette, or a drizzle of roasted garlic olive oil would be delicious if you prefer to dress it up a bit. Another wonderful addition to this salad is a crumble of my favorite homemade “Sun Cheese.” But just as it is, I found it to be super light, refreshing, flavorful summer salad that kept me (& a few yogi friends who had a nibble) going strong all weekend long.
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 1¾ cups organic vegetable broth
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup olives, pitted & sliced
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large English cucumber, peeled & diced
- 1 yellow pepper, seeded & diced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 cup chickpeas
- 1 large handful of spinach, chopped
- ¼ cup tightly packed fresh basil, cut in a chiffonade
- salt & fresh pepper, to taste
- Rinse quinoa well.
- Fill a medium pot with broth & lemon juice, add quinoa & sea salt to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover; simmer covered 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat & keep covered an additional 5 minutes; then fluff with a fork & set aside in a large mixing bowl to cool.
- While the quinoa cools, dice all the vegetables. Add the peppers, olives, cucumber, tomatoes, chickpeas, & spinach to the cooled quinoa, top with fresh basil & cracked pepper.
My teacher training weekends have now come to an end, & this weekend will be the first since April that I will not be meeting with my teachers & yoga family. It’s bittersweet. I cannot imagine my weekends now without our meetings, but I am also ready to get a bit of my time back & to move on to the next chapter in my life. I am not sure how much I will teach, & I am not reaching out to studios just yet. I plan to get my feet wet first by offering yoga to friends at the beach & park, & maybe to teachers after school & then we shall see! It was an amazing personal journey that has transformed my life immensely.
I also hope that I will be able to jump back into a more regular blogging, as I ease back into a somewhat calmer schedule. Life sure has been busy, & that’s why keeping nourished is key!
I’ve spent a bit of time finishing up some of the behind the scenes formatting of past posts & realized I’d made a previous version of this. I suppose there is always room for redux! And wow, some recipes need it. Going deep into the archives was an reminder of how far Vegenista has come over the years.