Summertime … grills, salads and all things cool!
There are two things I can usually never get enough of: soup and salad. However, in the summer heat, soup just isn’t always quite as appealing. So, I turn to salad. Some salads I make as a meal, and some salads are made to go with a meal. In order to keep things mixed up and not grow tired of the same old thing, I enjoy experimenting with different types of salads. This particular summer salad is especially appealing to me because it can be changed up and altered according to what I’m hungry for, what I have on hand, or according to personal preference. Therefore, when you read the recipe, please take note of the asterisks that I insert. The asterisks indicate the ingredients that are optional or are simply ideas that you might try. It’s very likely you may come up with some add-ins that I haven’t even thought of. Oh, and one last thing…don’t tell anyone, but this salad falls in the “healthy” category with a good amount of protein coming from the quinoa.
Green goddess quinoa salad
For the dressing:
2 green onions, sliced thin (white and light green parts only)
1 large ripe avocado, flesh only
3 tablespoons lemon or lime juice (whichever you like best)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh parsley
1 jalapeno pepper (ribs and seeds removed)*
1/2 cup fresh basil*
Salt to taste
Prepare the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Add a little more water or oil, if necessary, to make it the consistency you prefer. Taste test and set aside.
For the salad:
1 cup dry quinoa
6 cups mixed greens (lettuce, spinach, arugula…whatever you prefer)
1 cup cooked edamame*
1/2 cup walnuts or almonds*
4 radishes, thinly sliced*
6-8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Rinse the quinoa in a strainer under cool water then combine it in a saucepan with two cups of water. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low and cook until quinoa has absorbed the liquid and can be easily fluffed with a fork (about 12 minutes).
While the quinoa is still warm, toss it with the mixed greens so the leaves wilt down a bit. Stir in the add-ins you choose, along with the crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the dressing. Serve warm or at room temperature.
RECIPE NOTES: You may end up with more dressing than you’ll need for the salad. If so, store in an airtight container in the fridge for three days. Remember: All ingredients marked with an * are optional. Sometimes I transfer the salad from a mixing bowl to mason jars, put it in the fridge then pull out the jar ahead of time and let it come to room temperature before eating. The mason jar of salad also makes a convenient “on the go” dish! ♦