A light and refreshing, veggie-packed summer salad with the wholesome goodness of quinoa. Fast and easy to prepare, Vegetable Quinoa Salad is a great side or main dish!
Quinoa is a staple in our pantry, but not something I tend to cook often. We will often buy organic quinoa from our local bulk store and transfer it to a clean mason jar when we arrive home. It can sit in the pantry for a very long time and is a great source of protein to have on hand.
Cooking quinoa is most certainly not to be thought of as cumbersome or complicated. In fact, if you can cook rice, you can cook quinoa too. We like to prepare a big lot of quinoa or brown rice, or even couscous or farro on Sundays and have it readily available throughout the week. It certainly helps to make a quick and stress-free week night dinner.
This salad idea was born from cooking up a big pot of quinoa on one particular Sunday evening. I allowed it to completely cool and then transferred it to a food-safe container and placed it into the refrigerator. Then, it was just a matter of chopping a few veggies, whisking together a sauce, and dinner was fresh, easy and ready to eat.
Both John.e and McKenna loved this salad, which, let’s face it, are the only opinions that matter to me. Ha! As long as I can easily satisfy the palettes of a 50 year old, 25 year vegetarian veteran, and that of a 14 year old teen girl, then I call it a major success!
What to prepare for meals is the cause of most of the stress in my life. It would be so much easier, I admit, if John.e and McKenna were meat eaters, but as much as I would love to convert them back to the wonderful world of steak, I also envy their dedication and commitment to a vegetarian lifestyle at the same time. The stress comes from the need to prepare meals with enough protein and healthiness to keep them full and well.
It’s easy for me. I can come home from work and grill a chicken breasts or toss canned tuna into a salad. But, vegetarian cooking usually involves so much prep when you consider the washing and chopping of vegetables. And, to be completely honest, most days, after work, it’s the last thing I want to do! But, alas, I digress.
Another really cool thing about Quinoa Vegetable Salad is that you can prepare the whole thing ahead of time. This salad will certainly keep well in your refrigerator for at least three days. And the taste is just as good three days later as it is when first prepared.
- 4 cups quinoa, cooked and cooled
- 1 1/2 cups canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups canned corn, drained
- 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup chives, chopped
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 cup light olive oil
- Whisk together the vinegar, lime juice, salt, black pepper, cumin, and olive oil. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss together the quinoa, red and green bell peppers, corn, black beans, parsley, and chives.
- Pour in the sauce mixture and toss to combine.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
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