Quinoa Vegetable Salad

Hope everyone is having a great long weekend!  Unfortunately it has been raining/storming in Chicago today and I haven’t had a chance to hit the beach like I wanted to!  There is always tomorrow I suppose.

I did go out last night to a bar in Bucktown called The Southern which was fun and different since it is an area I don’t go to as often.  Here is the only pic from last night…I need to get better about taking pictures when I go out and not just of my food!

I figured today that I would give you a recipe that would be great for a Memorial day BBQ or picnic as an alternative on the traditional pasta salad (you can serve it along with potato salad!).  This one uses quinoa, so it is super flavorful and full of great ingredients while still being really healthy.

Quinoa Vegetable Salad

1.5 cups quinoa

3 cups chicken broth (or water)

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 large apple, diced

1-2 zucchini’s, diced

1 cucumber, diced

1/2 cup artichoke hearts (can use frozen or canned)

1/2 cup celery

1/2 avocado

Dressing:

2 T olive oil

1 T lemon juice

1 T cider vinegar

1 t mustard

1 clove garlic

In my frenzy to delete old pics from my camera, I ended up deleting about half the pictures I took of this salad.  Most of the ones I deleted were the good pictures :( .  So you will have to forgive me and take my word for it that this salad is delicious.

Directions:  

Bring the chicken broth (or water) to a boil.  If you use chicken broth, you probably won’t need to add any salt to the salad and if you use water you might want to add salt to taste.  Rinse quinoa and add to the boiling liquid.  Bring the mixture back to a boil and turn down to medium heat.  Simmer for about 15 minutes or so until liquid is well absorbed.  Once liquid is absorbed to your liking, turn heat off and transfer to a bowl.  Allow the mixture to cool.  In the meantime, you can mix up the dressing by either whisking or blending the oil, vinegar, lemon, mustard and garlic together.  Feel free to add salt/pepper to taste.  You could also add any fresh herbs to this that you have on hand.  Chop the vegetables that you are using–the ones listed in the recipe are just what I used, but feel free to use any combination of vegetables that you would like.  Once the quinoa has cooled, mix in the vegetables and add dressing and serve!  The salad will stay good overnight or for a few days in the fridge, but if you are adding avocado, make sure to add it right before serving if you don’t want it to brown.  I would also wait to pour the dressing on until right before you serve it.

Now I’m off to get ready for another night out….enjoy your weekend!

Katie

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