Confetti Quinoa Salad

Confetti Quinoa Salad

When we’re stuck dead center in a Winnipeg winter—what do we do? How about make colorful summery salads? This quinoa salad won my heart over. I’m a pesto fanatic so I was happy when the Fresh Juice magazine featured a quinoa recipe that was all dressed in a basil dressing and could be assembled with minimal cooking. I've adapted the recipe a bit from the original (which, I couldn't seem to find online)!

Why do I often recommend giving quinoa a try? Well, it’s a whole grain that boasts itself as a great source of protein, making it perfect to include in a plant-based diet. For those with a gluten sensitivity, this grain is a dream come true as it’s naturally gluten-free. Quinoa can be purchased in different forms— whole grain or as ground flour. You’ll even find it offered in an array of colors: white, black, red—but really, they’re all the same. We typically consume quinoa 2-3x a week in our households as a hearty salad like this one, as a side dish or in the form of patties. Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!


Confetti Quinoa Salad

PREP TIME: 10 mins
COOK TIME: 20 mins
TOTAL TIME: 30 mins
Serves: 8

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup quinoa

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 yellow pepper, diced

  • 1 red pepper, diced (optional, great especially if you want to increase your veggie intake)

  • 1 cup diced English cucumber

  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion

  • 1 can (19 oz) no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved

  • Toasted pine nuts for garnish (optional)

  • Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp prepared pesto (I love the Classico Pesto)

  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In saucepan, add quinoa and water (if quinoa isn't the pre-rinsed type, first rinse and drain well). Bring to a boil, reduce heat then cover and simmer for 18 to 20 minutes or until all liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork. Transfer to large bowl. Let cool for 15 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together pesto, vinegar, oil and pepper.

  3. In a large bowl, add quinoa, yellow pepper, cucumber, onion, and chickpeas. Add dressing and toss gently to coat. Fold in feta and tomatoes. Sprinkle with pine nuts, if desired.


NOTES:

  • Feel free to add in other veggies you may enjoy, or sun dried tomatoes for additional flavor.

  • This recipe makes a large batch so you may want to cut the ingredients in half if you’re just feeding yourself or a small group.

  • This salad keeps well for a few days in the fridge so it’s great as leftovers!


 

- With love, Carrots and Cake,

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