Summer Quinoa Salad for a Refreshing Dinner
With summer starting up, it’s time to start thinking about cool meals that are easy to prepare and that don’t heat up the kitchen. I love to combine several superfoods (check out my Superfoods post!) into one easy salad that takes mere minutes to get ready and leaves me with more than one meal to eat. A few simple ingredients is all it takes to have a perfect, balanced Summer Quinoa Salad that fills you up and cools you off, but never heats up the kitchen. What could be better?
Easy Ingredients for Summer Quinoa Salad
Quinoa, if you’ve never had it, it’s a wonderful ancient grain that cooks up fast and is packed full of nutrients like protein. You can find it at just about any grocery store, in with the rice and others grains. I love the flavor of the sprouted variety, but the regular version works just as well in this recipe. While the quinoa was steaming, I chopped up some tomatoes, yellow peppers, some black beans, and feta cheese for not only an eye pleasing dish, but a well rounded, tasteful one. It was a beautiful mixture. I made a light dressing from olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper and it was the perfect blend of light and tangy. With a quick chill, and the late addition of some leftover rotisserie chicken, it was a meal in a bowl. Even the kids loved it.
- 1 ½ C water
- 1 C quinoa
- 1 tomato, seeded and diced
- 1 yellow sweet pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 4 oz pkg feta cheese
- 1 C leftover rotisserie chicken, diced
- ¼ C extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ C red wine vinegar
- 1 t dried oregano
- ½ t salt
- ½ t ground black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil.
- Add the quinoa, cover, and reduce to low. Simmer 12 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to sit 5 minutes to absorb any remaining liquid.
- Place the remaining salad ingredients into a large bowl.
- Add the quinoa and stir well.
- Add the dressing ingredients and stir to coat.
- Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
- Serve chilled.
Superfoods in Summer Quinoa Salad
Not only is quinoa a superfood but so are the black beans! You can add in all kinds of other things as well, such as strawberries, blueberries, leftover meat, and veggies that you like. If you want to boost your superfood blend, try adding a bit of turmeric to the dressing. It will turn the dish a beautiful yellow color, similar to saffron, and add an earthiness reminiscent of a good curry. No matter how you make Summer Quinoa Salad, you’ll love the flavor and how it keeps you cool on a hot summer’s day!