Simple, straightforward and summer. That’s what I think of as I share this recipe with you all! This is one of those recipes I’m talking about when I recommend preparing your lunch for the week. It’s light and fresh, without being overly complicated to pack, once you’ve made it. Just throw a portion in a Tupperware or Pyrex container and you’re good to go. With this particular recipe, I would recommend packing something else in your lunch, as I did not find it incredibly sustaining on longer days. But a supplement of almonds and snap peas (or something along those lines) helped fill out this quinoa salad. This is such a basic recipe that you can use to inspire other quinoa summer veggie lunch salads – the options are truly endless. But if you’re not feeling creative and want to make a straightforward recipe, then this is one for you!
Cooking Notes: I used water, not stock for cooking the quinoa. I combined a half cup red and a half cup regular quinoa for this mix, just to make it pretty. The recipe called for a lime to squeeze, but I just used bottled lime juice. Since we are out of fish sauce, I used soy sauce, which also makes this variation vegan. I chose spinach was my “lettuce” option and used parsley, not cilantro. I also used a giant cucumber, instead of the recommended small cucumber and I think it made a difference – it was a lot of cucumber to commit to!
Mint Veggie Quinoa Salad (adapted from I Am a Food Blog; serves 4-6)
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 1/4 cup water
1 cucumber, diced
1 carrot, peeled and shredded (about 1 cup)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
10-12 fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
2 cups spinach
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp soy sauce
Sriracha, to taste
Prepare all of your ingredients: dice the cucumber, shred the carrot, slice the green onions and chop the parsley and mint.
Lightly toast rinsed, drained quinoa in a non-stick pot over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the water, bring to a boil, reduce to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the burner and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, fluff and let cool.
While the quinoa cooks, make the dressing. Mince the garlic clove as finely as possible. Whisk together the garlic, sugar, lime juice, water and soy sauce until the sugar dissolves. Taste and add sriracha, then set aside in the fridge.
Once the quinoa has cooled, add the cucumber, carrot, green onion, parsley, mint and spinach. Add the dressing and toss well – adjust S&P if needed. Enjoy!