Monday, May 30, 2016

Fresh Herb Quinoa Salad

Happy Memorial Day to my US friends and readers!
I hope you are taking time to enjoy your long weekend.

I'm totally loving cooking with herbs right now.

They are full of so many vitamins and antioxidants and they make ordinary food taste delicious.

My current favs are:

Parsley - full of disease fighting vitamins A & C (also amazing for your skin). I'm putting it on all of my salads and in my green smoothie - it makes it taste so fresh! Its also really good for your tummy!

Mint - contains fibre and iron (yes you read that correctly ;-). So perfect chopped with fruit or muddled in a ice cold summer drink. It is also very soothing and anti-inflammatory.

Dill - high in magnesium, calcium and potassium, dill is an essential summer herb - I love it in a basic cucumber and tomato salad with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of fresh ground sea salt - yum.

The best way to get herbs? Plant your own herb garden! They take up very little space so they will fit on your balcony or porch, they are easy to maintain and if you don't use them for cooking you can always cut a fresh sprig or two for a vase making your kitchen smell so good. Lots of stores and garden centres already have herb gardens pre-made in pots you can buy - so easy - and cleaner than dealing with all that dirt!

Experiment for yourself - you will be amazed at the great flavour some fresh herbs will give whatever you are cooking. Chop them and sprinkle them on your salads, rice dishes, pasta and veggies. The possibilities are endless.

Today's Meatless Monday recipe is a Fresh Herb Quinoa Salad.

It is light, flavourful, full of clean protein, fibre and lots of vitamins. Perfect for an evening bbq or a sunny summer lunch. This recipe makes a big bowl so you make it for a party or keep the extras in the fridge for tomorrow's lunch - I like to put it over a bed of arugula day 2 to change it up a bit and get some greens.


"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow"
~Audrey Hepburn

Fresh Herb Quinoa Salad

serves 6-8
2 cups uncooked quinoa
1 cup canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
handful of dill sprigs, roughly chopped
large handful of parsley, roughly chopped
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed butter)
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & fresh ground pepper

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Once it is done, let it stand for about 20 minutes or put it in the fridge to cool down. You can make the quinoa in advance so that it is completely chilled by the time you are ready to serve it but it also serves well at room temp.

Whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, tahini and garlic to make the dressing.

In a large serving bowl combine the cooked quinoa, the beans, red onion and stir in the dressing made in the previous step. Add in sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Before serving mix in the chopped herbs and maybe a couple squeezes of lemon.

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