You Gotta Eat! Cold Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad


What???!!!  A recipe?  Yes.  Small biz owners and entrepreneurs are some of the worst eaters I have come across!  You can easily get engrossed in the day’s tasks and before you know it you are starving.  You grab the closest thing to you and in so many cases it is C R A P.  I have been teased by more than one employee or peer because I bring my lunch just about everywhere I go.  What good am I to my biz (or family) if I am tired, lethargic, grumpy and unwell?  NONE.  So, yes.  You Gotta Eat!

My experience has shown me that if I can prepare great food ahead of time that is easy to pack up in the morning and easy to eat on the go, I will eat it.  Inspired by one of my besties, Susan Irby (The Bikini Chef), I have been creating all sorts of good stuff with quinoa.      I like it because it isn’t wheat but it can take the place of it in some things.  It is protein-packed, low in fat, sugar and carbs and you can make a bunch of it all at one time and keep it on hand for days.  I make this salad on Sundays and eat it for at least three days.  Ready?

Cold Quinoa Salad

1 cups of quinoa (I am loving Trader Joe’s Tri Colore Organic blend)

one can of organic garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

a handful of basil, sliced thin

a handful of mint, sliced thin

a handful of cilantro, sliced thin

a few green onions, sliced thin

a whole jalapeno (give or take depending on how hot you like it) chopped into small bits

1/2 of a lemon, squeezed

Secret Sauce (see below recipe)

Salt and pepper to taste, top with avocado when you are serving it

Take your quinoa and put it in a fine mesh strainer.  Rinse it for about 2 minutes (if you skip this, it will be bitter).  To cook it, follow the directions on the bag of quinoa.  Once cooked, put it in the fridge until it is chilled, at least one hour.  Once it is chilled, add all of the other ingredients.  You can add or subtract as much as you like.  I sometimes add cherry tomatoes and cucumber or swap the garbanzos for lentils.  It is up to you.  Toss everything together with as little secret sauce as needed and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to three days.  When you are ready to eat it, you can slice an avocado (or sprinkle feta cheese) over the top.   Sometime I eat it with  gluten free crackers or multi-grain tortilla chips.

SECRET SAUCE:  Okay….I hate salad dressing!  It is usually packed with fat and loaded with sugar.  BUT, you need it sometimes.  I can make my own but find that it lacks something.  So my secret sauce is Newman’s Own Olive Oil & Vinegar dressing.  It has NO chemicals, only one gram of sugar and is super tasty.  BUT, here is my secret.  When you buy it, the oil is separated from the tasty stuff and floats on top.  Upon opening a fresh bottle, I pour off as much of the oil as possible, leaving me with very tasty sauce (or dressing).  I have shaved off almost 3/4 of the fat by doing this and I get a super intense flavor so I only have to use a bit.  SCORE!

That’s it!  Make some and let me know how you like it, okay?

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6 Responses
  • Susan Irby
    May 8, 2013

    You make me #quinoa proud, Cassie! Way to go!!!

    • Cassie
      May 9, 2013

      You are the Master…I mean Mistress!

  • kim
    May 8, 2013

    LOVE quinoa and adore Newman anything. What a great tip about the salad dressing and I’ll have to try it. I like the sweet ones – Raspberry Walnut. Would that work just as well?

    • Cassie
      May 9, 2013

      Kim, I am sure that they would as long as they have that oil separation. I like the vinaigrette because it lacks sugar. I’d rather eat candy! Thank you for reading and commenting!

  • Lauren
    May 8, 2013

    So first, let them tease. Us BYO-ers know what’s up. I hate going out for lunch or winging it, always better when you bring it. Love the herbs/jalapenos in your quinoa concoction. I bet you can make some secret sauce…try it.

    • Cassie
      May 9, 2013

      Thanks Lauren!!!

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