In the world of healthy eating, quinoa is a nutritional superstar. It’s a complete protein, rich in fiber, and packed with essential vitamins and minerals. One of the best ways to enjoy the benefits of quinoa is by making a high-protein quinoa salad. Whether you’re a vegetarian looking for a hearty meal or simply want a nutritious dish, this recipe is a winner. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to create a delicious and high-protein quinoa salad that’s perfect for any occasion.
For the Salad:
- 1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
- 2 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 can (15 oz) of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped (optional)
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
For the Dressing:
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Rinse and Cook the Quinoa:
- Begin by rinsing the quinoa under cold water to remove its natural bitter coating.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa and water or vegetable broth.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the quinoa is tender and the liquid is absorbed.
- Remove it from the heat, fluff the quinoa with a fork, and let it cool to room temperature.
2. Prepare the Dressing:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper. Set the dressing aside.
3. Assemble the Salad:
- In a large salad bowl, combine the cooked and cooled quinoa, chickpeas, halved cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, red bell pepper, and finely chopped red onion.
- Add the fresh parsley and, if you like, fresh mint for an extra burst of flavor.
- Toss the salad ingredients gently to combine them.
4. Add the Dressing:
- Pour the prepared dressing over the quinoa salad. Make sure it’s evenly distributed.
5. Optional Toppings:
- If you desire an extra layer of flavor and creaminess, add crumbled feta cheese on top of the salad. Feta cheese pairs exceptionally well with the fresh, zesty flavors of the salad.
6. Chill and Serve:
- Refrigerate the quinoa salad for at least an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to meld and enhances the taste.
- Serve your high-protein quinoa salad as a standalone dish or as a side to your favorite protein source. It’s great for picnics, potlucks, or as a weekday lunch.
This high-protein quinoa salad is not only a nutritional powerhouse but also a delight for your taste buds. Packed with wholesome ingredients and a tangy dressing, it’s a versatile dish that can be customized to your preferences. Whip up a batch of this salad for a satisfying and healthy meal that will keep you energized throughout the day. Enjoy!