When it comes to lunch, whether I’m at work or at home, I like things simple and quick. That’s not really too tough, but when you factor in the requirements of uber-delicous and meaningful nutritional value, those recipes are a little harder to come by. I recently pinned this wonderful formulation from Bon Appetit because it seemed to meet those standards on every count, plus it simply made my mouth water to read the list of ingredients. For me, there’s nothing better than cold salads for warm weather lunches. Add citrus and the fact that it is a completely nutritious and hearty meal in one bowl and I’m definitely intrigued.
This recipe did not disappoint. Of course, I altered it slightly, to fit what I had in my own kitchen. The results are, nonetheless, extraordinary. I make it in the evening and have lunch for the next several days, as the flavors only get better and better, as it sits. Check out the original on Bon Appetit. The recipe, below, is the way I made it in my own kitchen. It’s light and packed with flavor, and the addition of quinoa provides that perfectly complete protein that leaves you satisfied and energized. The fresh lemon juice makes the veggies in this salad *POP*. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do. Enjoy!
- -1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
- -1½ cups chicken stock (could substitute water or veggie stock)
- -juice of 2 large lemons
- -1/4 cup white wine vinegar (I used champagne vinegar, because it was what I had on hand.)
- -1 teaspoon minced garlic
- -1/2 cup olive oil, (I used Meyer Lemon Olive Oil, but any good EVOO will work.)
- -1 large English hothouse cucumber, diced
- -1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- -1/3 cup red onion, minced
- -2/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- -1 teaspoon dried mint
- -salt and pepper to taste
- Thoroughly rinse quinoa, to remove the bitter saponin layer.
- Cook the quinoa according to package directions. You can use water, but I almost always cook mine in chicken broth, because I like the added flavor and I usually make large batches that I divide and use in several different recipes. Whichever you select, use about 1½ cups of liquid for each cup of quinoa.
- Once the quinoa is cooked and tender, fluff it with a fork and let it cool. I usually spread it in a thin layer on a cutting board to speed up the cooling time.
- While the quinoa cools, dice and slice your veggies -- cucumber, onion, and tomatoes.
- Mix the veggies, parsley and mint.
- Mix lemon juice, vinegar, garlic and salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Whisk together, briskly, as you drizzle in the olive oil to make the dressing for your salad. Continue mixing until the oil is completely emulsified into the juice and vinegar. Set aside.
- In salad bowl, mix the veggies and quinoa.
- Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat.
- Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to chill and to allow flavors to marry.