A light and refreshing salad with healthy pantry ingredients – Sun Dried Tomato and Almond Quinoa Salad is delightfully easy to make and a great way to use up any leftover quinoa!
Quinoa, along with other protein-filled grains, such as brown rice, millet, and barley, is always a regular and stable part of our dry-goods pantry collection. We like to purchase these items at our local bulk grocer and store them in mason jars to keep them fresh and readily available.
It’s a great practice really. If you think about it, a pantry shop (which is what I refer to it as) is quite a smart idea. I would guess that John.e and I embark on a ‘pantry shop’ about every six to eight weeks or so. A pantry shop consists of visiting bulk stores or dry-goods stores to top up our pantry with the previously mentioned items, as well as rice cakes, granola bars, oatmeal, couscous, flour, and dried fruits.
We also scour through our local sales flyers and make a list of which grocery stores we will hit up to buy on-sale pantry items. These items mostly consist of canned goods, such as whole tomatoes, tomato sauce, canned beans and legumes, jarred pesto and condiments, and bags and/or boxes of pasta and noodles. These excursions ensure that we always have staples on hand and can pull together a meal quickly and easily.
On Sundays, John.e will usually cook up a batch of quinoa or brown rice or both. Sometimes, there’s some couscous or millet prepared as well. Throughout the week, I’ll add other ingredients to make a complete meal. For example, I can add a can of drained black beans and a can of corn to some of the brown rice and heat it up. Chop a few tomatoes and a bit of lettuce, shred a bit of cheese, and we can have brown rice vegetarian wraps in about 10 minutes.
And that’s exactly how this Sun Dried Tomato and Almond Quinoa Salad recipe was born. I saw a similar recipe online or in a cookbook a few weeks back and decided to make my own version with Sunday’s pre-cooked quinoa. I had a jar of sun dried tomatoes in oil in the fridge, along with fresh parsley and a couple of lemons in the fruit bowl. As, one of those mason jars in our pantry was full of raw, natural almonds. So, a complete meal came together really quickly.
I’ve been preaching this message for quite some time on my blog. A great meal – a wholesome, hearty meal – does not need to be daunting or exhausting. A little weekend preparation can help to make the weeknight routine easier and more manageable. It literally takes a few minutes to rinse some brown rice and toss it into a pot to cook. The best thing about most of these grains is that once the pot of water comes to a boil, you add the grain and a lid, turn the heat down to a simmer and let it go for 30-45 minutes. You don’t even need to babysit it!
Once you’ve prepared your quinoa, simply allow it to completely cool before transferring it to a food-safe container with a tight-fitting lid. Do this for all of your grains. It’s always a good idea to let food cool before refrigerating. This avoids an excess build up of condensation inside the container, which can really affect the dry, fluffiness of your beautifully prepared grain!
If you intend to make this dish wholly in advance, you can certainly do so. One recommendation though – leave out the lemon juice and zest until you’re ready to eat. I find that lemon juice tends to lose it’s freshness if it’s added to recipes and eaten later or the next day.
There you have it! Another easy, wholesome, filling, hearty, healthy recipe from Lord Byron’s Kitchen. Sun Dried Tomato and Almond Quinoa Salad makes a great meal on it’s own, or you can pair it with some grilled chicken or salmon if you’re not looking for a completely vegetarian meal. This also makes a great lunch for work. Just pack it into a mason jar and go!
Enjoy, Dear Reader! And, please, don’t forget to share this recipe with your social media friends as well! Cheers!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 6 cups quinoa, cooked
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and diced
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (plus more for garnish - optional)
- 1 cup whole almonds, unsalted, roughly chopped
- Add the olive oil and onion to a skillet over medium heat. Cook the onions for five minutes.
- Next, add the salt, pepper, rice wine vinegar, and sun dried tomatoes. Stir to combine.
- Add the cooked quinoa and almonds. Toss to coat.
- Finally, add the parsley, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Toss all together. Turn off the heat and serve immediately.
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